During seminary I was retreating with classmates at the Great White Mountains of New Hampshire. It was five in the morning when I decided to walk down to the lake with my Bible to see the sun rise. I’m really not that pious; it’s just that one of the guys in my room snored so loudly that the walls shook and I got tired of listening to it. I walked a quarter of a mile along a dirt path to a clearing beside the lake. Standing at the water’s edge, I sang, prayed, thought about the s’mores we consumed the night before, and looked at my watch a lot. For some reason it always seems to take longer for the sun to rise than you initially anticipate. In the meantime, I paced back and forth in the darkness reading my Bible in the moonlight.
After more than an hour, I looked up to the mountain peak before me and made an observation. Illuminating the tall pine trees was sunlight. The light hadn’t yet descended to ground level; but it had started to shine up there.
My friends, that’s the good news of the gospel. The Son has risen from the dead! The light of the kingdom already shines, as Paul writes in Eph. 5:14:
“Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
Although it remains dark and lonely down here, the glory of heaven has started to shine upon the earth, a reminder that God will soon make all things new. Jesus is risen, yes, risen indeed!