December 21st – O Dayspring

O Dayspring, splendor of light everlasting:

Come and enlighten those who sit in darkness

And in the shadow of death

Today is the winter solstice. The shortest day of the year. The year when light and day is cornered, shrunken, nearly swallowed up by night. Is it any wonder then that we in these northern climes delight to place lights anywhere we can? On the tree, on the house, in the fireplaces. It is a small rebellion against the darkness. And a small reflection of that far greater light which neither night nor winter can extinguish.

“The light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it” John 1:5.

Jesus is the rising sun. He who comes to us just at our darkest, just in the deepest night of sin and death, when we who sit in darkness have no light and shines on us in splendor. I love this phrase, splendor of light everlasting. Light that has no end. Sun that never sets. Life, never extinguished. For His life could not be extinguished even by death. He who died, also rose. And His light is the life of men. In His light we see light. And through His death and resurrection, through the forgiveness of every sin, through the shining away of all darkness, we will be brought into His brilliant presence. There, in that place, there will be no winter, no shortest day of the year. He is the new day. The brilliant sun which goes not down. The splendor of heaven itself. Come, O Dayspring, and shine!

O come Thou Dayspring from on high,
And cheer us by Thy drawing nigh,
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.