Look for the Sunrise
A redeemer is someone who, at a cost, frees a captive from all that stands between the two.
Zechariah tells us that in Jesus God has visited and redeemed his people. And he likens this visitation from God to the arrival of the sunrise.
Just this last week a friend of mine, who is not from these parts, said, “I feel like I haven’t seen the sun in weeks”, which is pretty typical of winter here in Minnesota. But we forget this, and we unconsciously hunker down and plod through our days, ignoring the extent of the effect the darkness and cold have on us; that It numbs us (physically, to be sure), but also our hearts. Honestly, it seems like everything about us stiffens up in the cold, dark stretches of winter.
And then the sun shines through. Your chest starts to warm, and you feel like you can take off your gloves and actually do some things with your hands. And you remember how much you need it; all the ways that you benefit from the sun.
So, the birth of Christ is the rising of the sun. Here is it’s effect.
In it the redeemer Jesus Christ is made known to you. He becomes personal to you. God is with you.
And the rising of the son pierces the dark shadow of death that covers over you. Winter aside, many of you would say that you know what it is like to have not felt the warmth of the sunrise of Jesus Christ in some time. All you can feel is frigid nightfall hanging over you. By the incarnation Jesus enters into this.
And it does this illuminating the cost of bringing you back into relationship with the redeemer; the difficulty of his perfect life, the terrible reality of his death, and the victory in his resurrection.
All of these things (the gospel) are found in Christmas, when we celebrate the coming of the redeemer.
In the midst of your winter look for and receive the sunrise of Jesus Christ. Bask in it, that you would experience it in new ways. Expose yourself to it, that the warmth of the gospel might reach your heart.