“Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever. … to Him who made the great lights, for His steadfast love endures forever; the sun to rule over the day, for His steadfast love endures forever; the moon and stars to rule over the night, for His steadfast love endures forever.” (Psalms 136:1,7-9 ESV)
Many of the songs and responsive readings in our worship services are taken from Scripture. We sing psalms. We praise the Lamb who was slain with words from the book of Revelation. Simeon’s song of blessing and dismissal from Luke’s Gospel accompanies us as we leave the Lord’s Table. The psalmist seems to do this as well, as he shapes his Spirit-inspired praise. These verses from the psalm are similar to the words of Genesis 1:16: “And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars.” (ESV) To these words from the account of creation, the psalmist adds the joyful refrain of praise for the Creator: “For His steadfast love endures forever.”
God “dwells in unapproachable light” (1 Timothy 6:16b ESV) and in Him “is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5b ESV ). He is the God whose steadfast love is expressed in bringing light to the darkness. By His Word He created light to shatter the darkness at creation’s beginning. The people God created rebelled against Him, disobeying His Word and bringing the darkness of sin into their lives and into God’s good creation. God, out of His grace and love, sent the Light into the world to break the power of sin’s darkness. Jesus, God the Son, the Light of the world, was born among us.
Jesus, as we confess in the Nicene Creed, is “God of God, Light of Light.” When He was born in Bethlehem, the light of heaven surrounded shepherds in the fields as an angel announced the birth of Christ the Lord. During His earthly ministry, Jesus brought the light of healing and hope as He proclaimed the kingdom of God. Jesus fulfilled the purpose of His coming as He suffered and died on the cross on a day when the sun’s light failed. On the third day after His death, Jesus rose from the grave, overcoming the darkness of sin and death.
Through faith in Jesus, we now live as “children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or darkness” (1 Thessalonians 5:5a ESV). We proclaim the message of repentance and forgiveness in Jesus’ Name, the Good News that brings light to a world still lost in the darkness of sin. From beginning to end, Scripture declares the praise of God, who once said at creation—and through the Gospel continues to say—”Let there be light!” Scripture closes with the description of our eternal home, the new creation in which no sun will be needed because the glory of God will be its light, the Lamb will be its lamp “and there will be no night there” (Revelation 21:25b ESV). There, in endless light, we will praise our God and Savior, “for His steadfast love endures forever!”
Prayer: Jesus, Light of the world, lead us to share the light of Your love with everyone we meet. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler.
Reprinted with permission from Lutheran Hour Ministries
1. Do you have a favorite author who guides or informs your faith walk?
2. What do you think it means that God will be the light of our eternal home?
3. Do you use the Apostles’ or Nicene Creeds in your prayer life or devotions?