“People, Look East”
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” (John 1:5 NLT)
One day I was driving home from a visitation at an assisted living center and as I drove the back roads, I saw the sunlight breaking through dark clouds that looked as if it was the gateway to heaven itself. These words of John came to me, and I praised God for what I had just seen. Then, I began to imagine.
What must it have been like to see one star brighter than the others? So bright, so new to the horizon that it could only be considered by experts as a proclamation of the birth of a king. It was the birth announcement of a sovereign that was unlike any that the earth had ever known. A ruler that would change the world completely and forever.
How cold it must have been at that time. We know that when the skies are clear that the nights are colder. Was the earthly temperature a reflection of the weight of sins that held the earth in bondage? Within 33 years from this night that a single star shone in the sky, we would never have to fear the weight of this incredible sin ever again. My savior, wrapped in swaddling clothes to keep out the evening chill.
This same evening sky, suddenly filled with angels that proclaimed this wonderful happening to a bunch of shepherds – nobodies, land robbers. Was this any way for royalty to be received? Not in our lifetimes.
“People, look East. The time is near of the crowning of the year…
Stars, keep the watch. When night is dim, one more light the
bowl shall brim, shining beyond the frosty weather, bright as
sun and moon together.
People look east: Love, the Star is on the way.”
Eleanor Farjeon, 1928 UMH#202
What do you see when you look to the east? Do you see fields, highways, downtown lights, traffic, all of the stress-producing things of this earth? This Advent hymn which I had never heard before this year is a reminder to us that it is time to look in the direction of Christ and remember that Jesus, our Savior, is on the way. A time to remember that this wasn’t a one-time thing, but that Jesus will come again so that we can welcome him with hearts prepared. Advent is that time of waiting, the time of preparation to celebrate not just the remembrance of the birth of a redeemer. It is the reminder that our eyes must be continually looking to the East when he comes again.
“Yes, I am coming soon!”
Amen, Come, Lord Jesus!
May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s holy people.”
Rev. 22:20-21 (NLT)
People of Mears & Shelby and beyond, look east. Look beyond the busyness of a season. Look beyond financial matters. Look beyond your trials, temptations and troubles. Look to the east and remember whose you are.
Merry Christmas blessings to you all,
Pastor Bev Williams