The Dawn of Redeeming Grace

This is an excerpt from “12 Days of Christmas Carols,” a devotional which unpacks lines of familiar Christmas carols you’ve sung for years but perhaps have never really thought about.

Consider the mystery in the line from Silent Night: “Radiant beams from thy holy face / with the dawn of redeeming grace.”

To anyone looking at that baby in the manger, he would have seemed so… ordinary. No soft heavenly glow, no halo no “radiant beams” shining from his holy face.  No one would have thought that this was the dawn of a new era, the rising sun of redeeming grace breaking into our darkness. No, he came into the world just like every other baby: crying and covered in blood.

And yet, it shouldn’t surprise us, because blood and tears is exactly what God’s redeeming grace looks like. The dawn of redeeming grace first shone in the blood and tears of Bethlehem. But high noon of redeeming grace came in the blood and tears of Golgotha, as the sun went dark on a Friday outside of Jerusalem. 

Though the “radiant beams” of redeeming grace shine in these strange ways now, it will not always be so. One day, the clouded skies of this darkened world will split and every eye will look on him whom they have pierced (Revelation 1:7). On that day, the radiant beams from his face will strip away every pretense and uncover every motive, and all will stand “exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give an account” (Hebrews 4:13). The infant who came as Savior will soon arrive as uncontested King, and every knee will bow.

What does this mean for us, today? Two things:

First, the light of redeeming grace is still shining, available to all who will seek his face. Today is the day of salvation, so call on him while he is near and ready to save. And spread the good news, repeat the sounding joy, and announce to your neighbors and the nations that the light is still shining.

And second, for those who are weary of the long war in this present darkness: lift your eyes. For you, weary saint, your life is the dawn of redeeming grace; soon the sun will rise. The light has dawned, and will soon break forth in a splendor that will scatter night forever. The night is far gone; the day is at hand, and salvation is nearer today than when we first believed. Soon weeping’s night will give way to the endless day of joy for all who have pledged their allegiance to this King. 

So bow your knee, come adore Christ the Lord, and look to the skies. He’s coming soon.

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