FOURTH WEEK OF ADVENT | DAYSPRING

DEVOTIONAL READING

Luke 1:67-79; Isaiah 42:1-9; Isaiah 49:1-7; I John 1:5-7

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.

The Gospel of Luke is filled with an outburst of song! Three different hymns are recorded in the birth narrative of Jesus: Mary's song (Magnificat), Zechariah's song (Benedictus), and Simeon's song (Nunc Dimittis). It is within the Benedictus that we find the reference for the fourth title of the Messiah, Dayspring. This reference (literally, "sun-rising") is found in Luke 1:78-79: 

"Because of the tender mercy of our God, with which the Sunrise from on high will visit us, to shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace." (NASB)

The reference to light shining in the darkness is also found in the book of Isaiah. The book of Isaiah contains a number of songs known as the servant songs. In these prophetic passages we read about the "servant of the Lord" who will "be a light to guide the nations" (Isaiah 42:6-7). He will "be a light to the Gentiles" and will bring "salvation to the ends of the earth" (Isaiah 49:6). Only one person fits this description: Jesus Christ. He is the fulfillment of all the songs in Luke and Isaiah. He is our Dayspring who vanquishes "death's dark shadows."

In John 1:5-7 we read: "This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all... if we are living in the light, as God is in the light then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, cleanses us from all sin."

In Jesus we find life, fellowship, and cleansing of sin. Like Mary, Zechariah, and Simeon, we can sing a song of gratitude and praise in our hearts to God. Each day, as we seek to live in the light, we "let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill our lives" and we "sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts" (Colossians 3:16). Lord, make this a daily reality in our lives.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION

1. Read Luke 1:67-79. Describe what this mighty Savior will do for us? (vss. 71-75, 78-79).
2. Read Isaiah 42:1-9. How does Jesus fulfill the role of the servant? (vss. 1-4, 7)
3. Read Isaiah 49:1-7. How is Jesus bringing his salvation to the ends of the earth? (vs. 6) What role do we, as the church, play in bringing light into the darkness?
4. Read I John 1:5-7. Describe living in spiritual darkness. Describe living in the light.

Comments

Jonathan Culley said…
Great insights on "dayspring." I learned something new today!
Jonathan Culley said…
Great insights on "dayspring." I learned something new today!

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