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Dr. Ray Pritchard
Dr. Ray Pritchard

“Because of our God’s merciful compassion, the dawn from on high will visit us” (Luke 1:78).

“The dawn from on high.”
That’s another name for Jesus.

He brings the sunlight of heaven to earth. The New King James Version says, “the dayspring from on high has visited us.” The word “dayspring” means the break of day, that moment when the first rays of the sun appear on the eastern horizon. If you have tried to stay up all night, you know how long those last few hours can be. At 3 AM it seems as if morning will never come. And the same at 3:30 AM and 4:00 AM and 4:30 AM. But when 5:00 AM comes, you know if you can only wait a little longer, the sun will finally begin to peek over the edge of the earth, and little shafts of light will pierce the darkness.

That’s what the coming of Christ is like. He is the “dayspring” who brings light into the darkness. His coming is like the first rays of dawn when a tiny shaft of light began to shine at Bethlehem.

Search every corner of the universe, and you will find only one place where the Almighty paid a personal visit.

That fact ought to amaze us.
And it ought to move us to visit others.

Perhaps this is why James 1:27 says the religion God approves involves visiting the orphans and the widows in their distress.

It’s always easier to look the other away.
It’s much harder to get involved.

If you have tasted God’s merciful compassion, then pass it along this Christmas season. If God has blessed you, then find a way to bless others. Open your eyes, open your heart, and open your hands. The religion God approves cares for those who cannot care for themselves. It includes the widows and the orphans, but it doesn’t end there. It includes the unborn, the sick, the dying, the homeless, the disabled, the immigrants, the victims of sex trafficking, prisoners, refugees, and many others the world overlooks.

 Jesus left the beauty of heaven for a barnyard birth. He left the purity of heaven to rescue us from the impurity of this world. He walked among us, lived with us, talked with us, ate with us, laughed with us, and wept with us.

He visited us in our distress.
He brought the light of heaven to the darkness of earth.
He came when we needed him most.

Let’s do the same for others this Christmas season.

Lord Jesus, as you came to us in our distress, help us to go to others and bring light and life in your name, Amen.

Musical bonus: I love this lilting version of Good Christian Men Rejoice by the Wissmann family.

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Originally published December 10, 2017.

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