Thursday, December 17, 2020


76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
    for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people
    in the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God,
    whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
79 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 1:76-79

There’s a reason why people in hospitals, sitting by the beds of loved ones, look out the window at the night. They are waiting for dawn—for the hope of a new and better day.

Zechariah refers to Jesus as our sunrise who “shall visit us from on high.” He will not simply stay in heaven and shine on us from there—He will come down, into our dark world, and be born as a human baby among us. He will “give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.” He will do more than that—through His death and resurrection, He will remove the shadow of death forever, and bring us into the everlasting light of God’s kingdom.

Zechariah spoke as a man who was privileged to see the first rays of dawn, the beginning of Jesus’ coming. But you and I have something even better—the full knowledge of how Jesus has saved us, laying down His life for us, and then sharing His resurrection life with us even now. We see the sunrise clearly— and already we begin to see the increasing full light of His wonderful day.

Heavenly Father, lead us into the light of Jesus. Amen

Reflect & Discuss

1. Which do you prefer, sunrise or sunset? Why?

2. Can you recall a sunrise that meant a lot to you?

3. How does Jesus’ coming into our world give you hope?

Christmas Services

© 2020 Lutheran Hour Ministries

Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHM) is a Christian outreach ministry supporting churches worldwide in its mission of Bringing Christ to the Nations—and the Nations to the Church. Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Capitalization of pronouns referring to the Deity has been added and is not part of the original English Standard Version text.