By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.Luke 1:78-79
I have been blessed with the opportunity to contribute some devotions to a wonderful new devotional app, “Good Ground.” You can learn more about the app in this post or on their website. Here is my devotion that was shared December 19th:
One of my favorite passages about light is found in the first chapter of Luke’s Gospel. When John the Baptist was born, his father Zechariah “was filled with the Holy Spirit” and burst into a song of praise to God, thanking Him for remembering His promise from of old. Zechariah declared in this song that his son, John, would “go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins” (Luke 1:77). And then come the words that I so love: “By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1:78-79). These are words that I think of almost every morning. Every morning, after all, is a reminder of God’s “tender mercy,” of the light that guides our feet “into the way of peace.”
The Lutheran pastor, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, once wrote that “every new morning is a new beginning of our life.” Isn’t that a wonderful thought? Have you ever had a bad day? Woke up on the wrong side of the bed, as it is said? Well, imagine if there was only one day! That bad day would stretch out forever! So, what a gift it is that we can go to sleep at the end of a bad day, and wake up to a new one. God has given us this gift by creating day and night. And because of God’s tender mercy for us, every morning can be a new beginning. Every morning, as the dawn shines upon a new day, we can remember that God’s tender mercy offers us renewed healing and hope.
Do you remember the Book of Lamentations? It is an Old Testament book written during a particularly dark time in Israel’s history, when Jerusalem was being overtaken by Babylon. It is filled with laments, appropriate to what they were experiencing at that time. But then, in the middle of this book, during this dark and trying time, the author offers a stunning declaration of hope: “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).
God’s love never ceases. No matter how dark the night, morning is coming. Every new morning offers us new life. Every new morning reminds us of God’s love and tender mercy. Because every new morning teaches us all over again that God’s Son Jesus is the light who brings us this new day, who fills us with God’s tender mercy, and who leads us into peace. May the peace of the Lord be yours, this day and always.