Speaking the Truth in Love

Neither Sun nor Stars

The apostle Paul was a prisoner on a large ship headed for Rome. But a violent storm had driven the vessel off course and was threatening the lives of the 276 persons on board. Luke, one of the travelers, recorded that “neither sun nor stars appeared for many a day” (Acts 27:20). A cold and dreary week like this one helps us identify with Luke’s feelings.

The gloomy winter sky reminds us that light is a great blessing. On the fourth day of creation, “God made the two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light upon the earth” (Gen. 1:16-17). The greater light, the sun, not only gives life to vegetation (the ultimate source of all food) but also cheers our hearts. God spreads his sunshine around the world as a testimony to the truth that he loves all people everywhere, even if that love isn’t returned. Jesus said that the Father in heaven “makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good” (Matt. 5:45).

A lovely day of sunshine, blue skies and puffy clouds is a foretaste of the joy and splendor to come. John, the author of Revelation, says that the heavenly “city has no need of sun or moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light shall the nations walk” (Rev. 21:23-24). That is, the brilliant light of the everlasting day will emanate from the Creator himself!

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