In the last chapter of the book of Revelation, Jesus calls himself the "bright Morning Star." In ancient times, the morning star was thought of as a herald of the new day, signaling the dawn of hope and joy. The brightest object in the sky aside from the sun and moon, it is a fitting type for Christ, who ushers in a new day for the entire world. When you call on Jesus, the Bright Morning Star, you are calling on the One from whom all darkness flees.
"I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star." Revelation 22:16
Praying the Name
We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.
And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. >2 Peter 1:16 - 19
Reflect On: >2 Peter 1:16 - 19.
Praise God: For bringing you into the light of his presence.
Offer Thanks: Because God has a unique purpose for your life.
Confess: Any tendency to resist God's purpose because of fear or insecurity.
Ask God: To strengthen your hope.
I graduated from college during the midst of a recession. Armed with a combined degree in psychology, sociology, and political science, my resume didn't place me at the top of any employer's wish list. For the first few months, the best job I could find was at a small spring and wire factory serving the auto industry. The work was so monotonous I thought I would lose my mind. And I wasn't the only one. Every night when the bell rang, workers stampeded to the exits to see who could be the first out. Worse yet, the day started before sunrise and ended after sundown. The daily commute in the darkness seemed like a metaphor for my life. In contrast to friends who had landed promising jobs in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, New York, and Dallas, I felt futureless. Stuck in the Midwest with a meaningless job — I couldn't have scripted a more depressing start to the rest of my life. Back then I didn't realize my life was a story God was writing. As far as I knew, I had grabbed the pen right out of his hand, refusing to believe he even existed. I was intent on enjoying life on my terms, determined to write my life the way I wanted it to be. Trouble was, I seemed to be suffering from writer's block.
Looking back, I realize God hadn't entirely let go of the script. He was using the shadows — my insecurity and fears — to drive me toward his light. When I finally admitted the truth — that I was headed nowhere unless God led the way — I felt my fear about the future suddenly lift. I didn't have to face it alone. God was real and he cared about me. Instead of being depressed, I felt excited. Life had a purpose — my life had a purpose. I had ideas about where I was headed and how to get there. In the midst of my conversion I felt suddenly transported from midwinter darkness to midsummer light.
William D. Watley, pastor of St. James A.M.E. Church in Newark, New Jersey, captures the kind of transformation I am talking about: We usually think of stars as nighttime luminaries, but the morning star announces the beginning of a new day. Who can testify that "since I met Jesus, it's a new day now"? I used to be bound by the devil, but since I met Jesus, it's a new day now. I used to have low self-esteem and was in a constant self-destruct mode, but since I met Jesus, it's a new day now. I've put down my blues guitar and picked up a tambourine of praise. It's a new day now.
People and things that used to upset me don't bother me anymore. It's a new day now. Fear that used to paralyze me and guilt that used to beat me up have lost their hold upon me. It's a new day now. Glory, glory hallelujah since I laid my burden down — it's a new day now.
It is a new day for anyone who belongs to Christ. We still have problems. We still struggle. But good stories never develop without conflict. The truth is that Christ has set us on a new course, infusing our lives with his light, his presence, and his purpose.
Join me today in hailing Jesus, our Bright Morning Star, the one who fills us with expectation for a day that will never end, when darkness and death will be words we barely remember. Together, let us lift up our hands, throw away our caution, and shout aloud: "Glory, glory hallelujah! It's a new day now!"
Two of Ann Spangler's most-loved books have been released in paperback: Praying the Names of God and Praying the Names of Jesus.
These books help us understand the biblical context in which these names and titles were revealed, and help us gain a more intimate knowledge of the Father and of the Son.