24 December – When peaceful silence lay over all

‘By the tender mercy of our God,
the dawn from on high will break upon us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.’

Within those prophetic words of Zechariah spoken as his tongue was freed and John was named are these verses. They speak of the dawn and we are approaching midnight. Tonight, in the heart of the darkness a light will burn from within a stable. That light will be Christ. He is the light that will banish the darkness and give hope to those ‘in the shadow of death’ for in his light we see life and in his life we see light.

Illustration of nativity scene - stable outside Bethlehem

In these last minutes before Christmas Day we wait for that light to be kindled, for that light to come into the world. We wait with the whole of creation, in the silence; we wait with the whole of creation, in the dark; we wait with Mary and Joseph; we wait for love to come amongst us; we wait for Christ to illuminate our lives.

God our Father,
in this night you have made known to us again
the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
confirm our faith and fix our eyes on him
until the day dawns
and Christ the Morning Star rises in our hearts.
To him be glory both now and for ever.

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