Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Approaching Dawn

As I write this, it is early morning and still dark. My world is quiet, both inside and outside my home. Immersed in the book of Matthew and reading about the forerunner of Jesus, John the Baptist, who announces to anyone who will listen their need to repent of their sins because Jesus is coming, I almost miss it. As I prepare my mind and heart for the upcoming Easter celebration and Jesus’ resurrection, I almost miss the joyous song of a lone bird announcing the dawn of a new day. A “forerunner” to the emergence of a clean, new slate, this feathered friend happily chirps, exclaiming just outside my window that the darkness will soon pass, and the light will rise.
I don’t understand the pecking order of birds. Was it the lil guy’s turn, and he was thrilled to sing his heart out while his peers had to quietly listen? Or was he the only one outside my window and by default, he alone could serenade me? (It is dark after all, I can’t tell if there’s a flock or not.)

Regardless, the first chirps of a lone bird early in the morning always lift my heart and make me smile. (And especially after the long hard winter we’ve had—what a welcome melody it is!) Morning is my favorite time of day; I love arising in the dark, while the house is quiet, and have my devotions with the Lord. Having them interrupted by sweet chirps of happiness only adds to the joy and anticipation of a new dawning. No matter what is on my schedule for the day, I am suddenly ready to face whatever the coming hours might bring.

Much like a lone bird that brings the message of the approaching light of a new day, so did John the Baptist bring the message of the coming Light for all eternity. The centuries old message is still fresh every day:  Repent of your sins, turn from darkness, embrace the Light, and you will know the love, peace, and joy of Christ in this life…and the next. 
How lovely is your dwelling place,
    Lord Almighty!
 My soul yearns, even faints,

    for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out
    for the living God.
 Even the sparrow has found a home,
    and the swallow a nest for herself,
    where she may have her young—
a place near your altar,
    Lord Almighty, my King and my God.
 Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
    they are ever praising you. (Psalm 84:1-4)

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