The blowing cold of winter cuts to the bone. From pinpricks to numbness, flesh is consumed by the frigid air. Harrowed by howls of the winter night, shivers are knee jerk. In the midst of our trembling and curled forms trapping in precious heat, we await the dawn. We await the golden ray to color the snowy tundra and melt our sorrow and gooseflesh. The writer of the beloved Christmas hymn describes the longing for dawn, “O come, Thou Dayspring, come and cheer | Our spirits by thine advent here | Disperse the gloomy clouds of night, | And death’s dark shadows put to flight.| Rejoice! Rejoice! | Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.” This melody is full of a desperate longing for hope. One can picture the writer peering out the window, yearning, hoping, aching, to see the first rays of dawn; the coming of the Son of Man.
Even though this song was penned centuries after the coming of the Messiah, the pangs of longing is something with which we can identify. The human experience is riddled with feelings of hopelessness, longing and loneliness. We all yearn for dawn. In the fourth Gospel, the Apostle John records the coming of the Dayspring. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). The coming of the Messiah was unlike anything in history. It was not a proclamation shouted from heaven, it was not a written invitation to live a moral life with heaven as the reward, and it was not even a blanket to suppress our shivers. The Day Spring came Himself. Took on our own flesh, the immortal to the mortal, and walked among us. He did not come to only teach us how to live a moral life, He came to give us life.
In Greek traditions, the Logos, or “The Word” as our English Bibles translate it, was synonymous with the order of nature and the divine reason behind it. However, it was a concept that was impersonal, cold. The Greek Logos insulates our feeling of loneliness; it does not keep at bay the blizzard outside our battered shacks. In fact, it just reverberates the fact that no help is coming. But John flips the idea of the Logos upside down. According to the Apostle, the Logos is not impersonal, rather it has a personality. And He came to us. And He did not come in the form of a conquering king and an array of majesty; he came in humility, as a baby. The Dayspring cooed as a child and grew up like the rising of the sun.
So are you cold today? Are you yearning, begging, staring at the horizon, waiting for the dawn to come? In this time of advent, look and see that the Word has come and dwelt among us. Your Dayspring has come to bear your brokenness. He came to melt away the sorrow and heal frostbitten fingers. Will you let Him in?