Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies

Bask in the Light of His Glory

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us, that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.  Psalm 67:1-2

Nothing quite like the morning sun peeking over an ocean’s expanse or a mountain range, is there? The brilliance always makes me smile. Perhaps a spectacular sunrise inspired Charles Wesley to write “Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies” almost four hundred years ago:

Christ, whose glory fills the skies,
Christ, the true, the only Light,
Sun of Righteousness, arise,
Triumph o’er the shades of night;
Dayspring from on high, be near;
Day-star, in my heart appear.

In the next stanza, Wesley notes that a morning is “dark and cheerless” unless he fixes his gaze on God. Joy, he says, returns only when he allows the beams of God’s mercy to gladden his soul and warm his heart.

From the moment God separated light from darkness in Genesis 1, He knew how much we humans would long for light, how everything He created would seek it—from a cat napping in a splash of sunlight to a flower stretching its petals toward the sky.

Sometimes I wonder why I lower the shades of my heart’s windows, preferring the gloom of my circumstances over the glorious presence of my God. Why don’t I welcome the Son as eagerly as I welcome the sun each day?

On too many days I wake up joyless, allowing yesterday’s failures or tomorrow’s uncertainties to obscure the light of God’s favor on my life. That’s when I pray, as Wesley did, that God will fill me:

Visit then this soul of mine,
Pierce the gloom of sin and grief;
Fill me, Radiancy divine,
Scatter all my unbelief;
More and more Thyself display,
Shining to the perfect day.

Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 4:6 that the same “God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’” in Genesis 1:3, has “made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” The brilliance of knowing Christ can dispel any darkness if we bask in its light.

What shadows loom over you today? Turn your face toward the Son. Allow His radiance to clear your skies.

DIG DEEPER:

Read Psalm 67. Verses 1-2 are a paraphrase of the high priest’s blessing in Numbers 6:24-26. How had God been gracious to Israel according to the psalmist? How has God been gracious to you lately?

To understand Wesley’s reference to “dayspring” read Luke 1:67-79 in the King James Version of the Bible. Why do you think Zechariah used “dayspring” in verse 79?

To understand Wesley’s reference to “day-star,” read 2 Peter 1:16-19 and Revelation 22:16 in the King James Version of the Bible. What event is Peter referring to in verses 16-18? What’s the connection between 2 Peter 1:19 and Revelation 22:16?

Read 2 Corinthians 4:1-6. What relationship does Paul suggest between not losing heart (v. 1) and the “light of the knowledge of the glory of God” (v. 6)? What steps toward the light do you take to avoid losing heart?

To read all the lyrics of “Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies” go to: http://cyberhymnal.org/htm/c/w/cwgfthes.htm

Denise K. Loock

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