Early in the morning, in the pre-dawn gray light, I wander around the retreat center. As I meander past the ghostlike trees, my feet crunch in the gravel path. The wind sighing high above in the treetops provides an oasis of peace and quiet away from the noise and bustle of the city. While the day slumbers, my feet turn toward Vesper Lookout, the highest land in the area. Short of breath, I soon reach the top of the steep hill and gaze at the beauty all around me. Gently rolling hills dotted with cedars, sycamores, and burr oaks await the new day. Below my feet the buildings of the campground rest gray and colorless, waiting for the sunrise to bring them to light and life. A strong wind blows at the top of Vesper Lookout, whispering God’s name through the cedars at its crest. I turn and face a six foot tall wooden cross fashioned from tree trunks. The cross faces due east, facing the impending sunrise. I kneel at its base, humbly acknowledging my risen Savior, the creator of all this beauty. This is why I’ve climbed to the top of the hill, to view God’s glorious sunrise.
I turn and face the east. I wait…I watch, nearly holding my breath. Gradually the sky reflects the light approaching beyond the horizon. As I wait, the world around me changes, heralding the coming of the light. Gray fades, changing to light blue. Colors become more distinct, details pop out, and the birds sing “good morning” to a new day. Soft pale pink emerges in the sky, spreading from the east around my right to the southern sky. The golden grasses and brown-black tree tops bow low in the wind. I wait…I watch. Gradually the pink wash turns brighter and deeper, rejoicing in the coming of the sun. All around me the clouds turn a vivid pink. The eastern sky brightens, streaks of yellow shining through the clouds. The winds nearly shout, “The sun is coming! The sun is coming!” I wait with bated breath. At last it comes. A slice of the brilliant, bright red-orange sphere peeks over the horizon. The great ball of light rises above the horizon, illuminating a new day.
Just so the Son of God rose on a spiritually dark world. All of creation waited; all of creation held its breath, waiting for the wind of His spirit to blow across the land. The risen Son brought the brilliance of a new spiritual day. The light of salvation now shines for all to see.
Dear God, thank you for the risen light of your Son. Help me to reflect His light for others to see.
II Samuel 22:29 “You are my lamp, O LORD; the LORD turns my darkness into light.”