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December 23, 2014

Sunrise on the world

".... The rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace" (Luke 1:78)

So exclaimed Zechariah, father of John the Baptist. Against all expectations, this son had been given to them - and, on writing down the God-ordained name 'John' for the onlookers, his mouth was opened in praise of the Lord who had declared that the child was to be a prophet - preparing people for the sunrise of Christ!

Many will know the experience of a sleepless night; maybe one of pain or worry. Every hour seems like an eternity. The clock strikes one o'clock, two, three, four o'clock. Then a little grey light filters into the room, and you know that your night of vigil is shortly to end. The grey turns to pink, and presently it's sunrise - and a new day has dawned.

This is what Christ's coming was to do for the world - if the world would accept him. The superstitions, the uncertainty of life and its meaning, the terror of death, the burden of guilt, and the sheer tiredness of living prevailed everywhere.... Then one night in Bethlehem something took place, of which the all-powerful Roman empire knew nothing. Overnight, grey had turned to pink - and the calendar had changed from BC to AD.

Problems, yes! But Christ's touch is to be found everywhere. The famed journalist Malcolm Muggeridge, who turned to Christ in his sixties, once said, "Because of Christ there can never be a dark night that doesn't end."