Lighting the Candle
We also have the prophetic message as something
completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it,
as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns
and the morning star rises in your hearts.
II Peter 1:19
It has become something of a spiritual practice for me that I try to observe from time to time. And every time that I do it I am inspired and helped to see the day in a clearer light. I do it by going outside in the morning before dawn, while everything is still dark, and look to the sky for the rising of the bright Morning Star. The Morning Star isn’t actually a star, but it was the name that the ancients gave to the planet Venus. Venus outshines all other planets and stars in the sky, and reigns as the Morning Star. Traveling closer to the Sun than does the Earth, the Morning Star reflects the Sun’s added brilliance just before it rises in the morning. As I watch the Morning Star I ponder the darkness fading and the light of the Sun to follow. Then I always say a prayer thanking God for His Morning , and His promise of the new day.
It is significant that the Bible closes out with Jesus’ promise: “I am the bright and Morning Star” (Revelation 22:16). Jesus is the One we are looking for. And in today’s Scripture text, the Apostle Peter writes of Jesus as the “morning star” whose coming will herald God’s new day. When Jesus comes He will dispel all darkness, as with the full blaze of glory He banishes the night. His promise is sure: “There will be no night…There will be no more death, or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 22:5; 21:4). As we wait, watch, and pray through the long night, Jesus’ words give us hope and joy.
But Peter says that in God’s Word, or “prophetic message”, we have “a light shining in a dark place”. The Bible is our night light until the Morning Star appears. The Bible often speaks of itself as the light shining in the darkness: “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path”; and “For this command is a lamp, this teaching is a light” (Psalm 119:10; Proverbs 6:23).
Thus Peter says that we do “well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place”. Yes, we will do very well to read God’s Word and obey: to study it, meditate on it, memorize it, and tell others about it. It is God’s light shining for us in the dark night.
I know how God’s Word has been a light for me in the darkness of fear, grief, discouragement, confusion, and doubt. Until the day breaks and the shadows flee away, we have this light in the night to take us all the way Home.
Each time we light a candle or see a Christmas light in the night, we have opportunity to commit ourselves to following God’s light, and to watching for the Morning Star.
God’s Word is a light that shines in the darkness and beckons brighter than day. For in death the light of the sun goes out, and also the light of reason with all its knowledge. Then the Word of God shines loyally as an eternal sun which faith alone may see and follow, into the clarity of eternal life.
– Martin Luther
MOMENT OF SILENCE AND REFLECTION
O Lord of light and life, we praise you for the light that you give to our path each day. Open our eyes today and every day to the wonder of your Word. Give us joy in your sure promise of the bright eternal day. Amen.