By the tender mercy of our God,
the dawn from on high will break upon us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.
Have you ever longed for the dawn? I recently had to drive to Hull on a dark, foggy freezing morning. I was not familiar with the road; the full beam headlights were no help and lights from oncoming vehicles were a distraction. As I set off back to York, dawn started to break. The sun was nowhere to be seen but the faint glow was enough for me to make out the route ahead. In addition, I could now follow the tail lights of the cars in front. The journey home was so much easier.
In this passage there is a promise, not only of light in dark places but also the possibility of a pathway to peace. As humans we seem to struggle to live at peace, either in ourselves or with others. Peace doesn’t seem to come naturally, it must be worked at, and for many people it is a journey. In this passage God is offering to be our guide on that journey.
As we reflect on the areas where we wish to find peace, may we find God’s tail lights guiding us.