Scripture for contemplation:
Revelation 22: 16. “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.”
What is the smallest “unit” comprising the “church”, the ecclesia, the ones called out of the world, to be in the world, but not of the world?
To answer this we refer to the following:
1 Corinthians 3:16. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”
1 Corinthians 6:19. “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”
What an amazing thing! Our real reality is that we are the living temples of God the Holy Spirit. Here’s where that “Day Star” lives Who must first arise at the very core of our being, within our heart – the presence of Christ within, Who calls Himself The Bright and Morning Star!!!
Clearly all indications are that our Lord Jesus Christ desires a temple, a dwelling place, which shines with His radiance. It is not a thing to be defiled in any way. His radiant presence is like a fire that burns up every thing which stands in the way, all the inner trash, of His holy dwelling place… Seriously, do we really know who we are and why we are here. This should give us some clue!
It is through these dwelling places – us – that Christ will eventually work His divine purposes of restoring all things.
This isn’t just about going to Heaven when we die! It’s about “being Christ” in the here and now, ascertaining from Him how that is specifically, individually, and collectively supposed to take place as the Body of Christ. I don’t think we can remind ourselves, or admonish one another about this, enough while we are in these bodies, these tabernacles of the Holy Spirit of God!
Consider with me for a moment Who it is Who lives within us. We can begin by looking at that first word “bright” for a moment. It’s very much a light with a huge spectrum of meaning. The Greek word is “lampros”. Yes, reminiscent of a lamp but so much more!
A few synonyms: radiant, limpid, figuratively – magnificent, sumptuous, bright, clear, gay, goodly, gorgeous, white [suggests the garments of light of the elect]. “Bright” as a translation hardly does it justice! An interesting reference to that word, where “lampros” is used is found in Luke 23:11 to describe the “gorgeous” robe Herod put on Jesus before sending Him back to Pilate!
Somehow there’s a connection to the “brightness” of the Morning Star and this morbid moment of mockery which my puny mind has yet to comprehend. Perhaps it has to do with His steps taken through the cross and His passion toward the glorification. I cannot say for sure, but that is all that comes to mind. It is more than worth taking into prayer! This is what the world heaps on Him, a robe of scorn and a crown of thorns – they know not Who He is; they know not what they do… “Father, forgive them!” He prays.
What wondrous Love is this, O my Soul?
He reveals Himself as the Morning Star… “Morning” is “orthrinos” – relating to the dawn that is “matutinal”. [Here goes a little more digging.] Excuse my ignorance, but matutinal was a new word for me. [I love new words, especially if they add depth of understanding in spiritual matters!]
Matutinal is a term from the life sciences describing organisms which are primarily active in the pre-dawn hours or early morning. Bees for example, or flowers such as morning glories, tend to participate in behaviors where it is presumed they escape from competition for resources – as in “the early bird always gets the worm”. The term matutinal derives from the Roman goddess Matuta, the goddess of the dawn. The Morning Star also clearly relates to the planet Venus, which is often referred to as the Morning [or Evening] Star.
This speaks to the quality that, to my way of perceiving this, is like the One Who is up before the crack of dawn, exemplified by the Virtuous Woman of Proverbs 31:15 – “She riseth while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.” This is clearly the “matutinal woman” – up and ahead of the game! Scripture calls Wisdom a woman! The Proverbs end with this description of this Wise Woman.
She is the type and symbol of the Church, the Bride of the Lamb. The words in this chapter of Proverbs were the words of King Lemuel [another name for Solomon], given to him by his mother! Within her heart is the Bright and Morning Star, her Beloved, the Bridegroom. They are one in the truest sense of the word.
This union is the culmination long awaited – the Christ, the Bright and Morning Star, and His Bride. He lives within her and she within Him. One is inseparable from the other. That is the goal.
Together they shine as one throughout all eternity. She has the “last word” in the Proverbs of the wise Solomon. She has the Last Word as He is one at last with her in the Revelation:
“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely.” [Revelation 22:17].
In conclusion, I’m taking a few liberties with the lyrics of this ancient Advent plainsong verse 3, but it seems fitting to do so, by substituting “Day Star” for “Dayspring”.
“O come, Thou Day Star from on high,
And cheer us by Thy drawing nigh;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.”
“Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”