God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. —1 John 1:5
Light has been a consistent motive found in Christmas celebrations throughout history. From the legend of St. Lucy’s candle headdress which enlivens the winter solstice in Scandinavia, to the “star singer” processions of central Europe where children re-enact the visit of the Magi while singing hymns, these images remind us that Christ came into the world as “the true light” (John 1:9) and “a light for revelation to the gentiles” (Luke 2:32). On this Epiphany Sunday (the last of the traditional twelve days of Christmas), many of our hymns reflect these themes as well. The “sages” in Angels From The Realms Of Glory are the “wise men from the east” of Matthew 2:1-12, who follow the “natal star” to “brighter visions” of the “desire of nations.” Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise describes God as the “Father of Light,” while Psalm 50 declares that He shows His glory “in brightness that excels.” The communion hymn The King Shall Come describes both Jesus’ first and second comings as days when “light triumphant breaks.” Even our sermon text from Psalm 29 (which we will sing later in the service) refers to the voice of the Lord “flash[ing] forth flames of fire.” As we leave worship this morning, let’s take as our prayer the words of As With Gladness Men Of Old: just as the wise men hailed the guiding light of the star to Bethlehem, “so, most gracious Lord, may we ever more be led to Thee.” —Henry C. Haffner
Key Words: Lord, Voice, Glory, Strength, Bless, Holiness, Ascribe, Enthroned
Keystone Verse: Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name; worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness. (Psalm 29:2)
Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. 2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name; worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness. 3 The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord, over many waters. 4 The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty. 5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon. 6 He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox. 7 The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.8 The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. 9 The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth and strips the forests bare, and in His temple all cry, “Glory!” 10 The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord sits enthroned as king forever. 11 May the Lord give strength to His people! May the Lord bless His people with peace!