By Hiram Vega
Of all the names of Jesus, one rarely mentioned is the Rising Sun, or the New Dawn. The name evokes the image of the soft red light that comes before the sun. It is the prelude to a new day.
In Chapter 1 of his gospel, Dr. Luke tells us that God visited a priest called Zechariah, who lived in a town in the mountains of Judah. His wife, Elizabeth, also belonged to the priestly family of Aaron. Zechariah and Elizabeth were upright in the eyes of God and carefully obeyed the commandments and regulations of the Lord. They did not have children because Elizabeth was barren. Both of them were already very old.
Why did God choose a common priest, old and childless, to play a fundamental part in the work of salvation? Maybe the answer is the one that the Apostle Paul wrote: He chose what the world looks down on and despises and thinks is nothing, in order to destroy what the world thinks is important (I Cor 1:28 GNT). God continues to call both young and old to speak on his behalf! Have you heard His call?
God told an elderly couple without children that they would be parents of a prophet more important than any of the others. John the Baptist would prepare the way of the Lord. The revelation was so great that Zechariah could not believe it, and as a result he was mute for a time.
I would like to say that I would have believed God in that moment, but the truth is that many times I believe my circumstances more than I believe God. I believe my finances more than I believe God. I believe my symptoms more than I believe God. I need a divine yank on the ear to clear my doubts away and strengthen my faith.
When Zechariah saw his newborn son, he was filled with the Holy Spirit and he prophesied (Luke 1:76-79):
And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;
for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,
to give his people the knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins,
because of the tender mercy of our God,
by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven.
Today the prophets of the Most High proclaim the same good news. These women and men, young people and old, rich and poor, educated and uneducated, bring the light of Christ to all those who are in darkness in every place, city and neighborhood.
How will you embrace the opportunities of this season to announce the New Dawn?