Monday, December 19, 2011

A Beautiful Dawn

Bethlehem Dawn (Album Version)

Have you ever seen a sunrise? They are pretty awesome.

I don't like to get up ridiculously early very often - I need double the coffee for that. But when a group of my friends suggest getting up to watch the sun rise together I always have a hard time saying no. There is something about watching the sun rise and the night turning into day that I love. These are some of my favorites:

The Appalachian Mountains in Virginia - 2005
This one was taken my freshman year of college on my first mission trip. We went to the Appalachian mountains and one morning a group of us climbed up the mountains to watch the sun rise. One of the most beautiful things is sitting with your friends, reading the Bible and worshiping together as the run rises.

Mundelein, IL- 2010
This next picture is from when I went to a thing called KINDLE last September. The last day of the trip we got up to watch the run rise over the lake. So amazing. I'm pretty sure God decided he wanted to show off that day.

The song "Bethlehem Dawn" is from the point of view of the shepherds and it opens with:

The sunrise was beautiful this morning
But somehow it seemed that everything was darker than the sky
We had seen just a few hours ago
As the angels sang a song of joy

As beautiful as sunrises are in all of their brightness and glory... it must be nothing compared to seeing the angels light up the sky the night of Christmas. I can almost picture the scene as I listen to the song. It's been a long night - and long and wonderful night. The shepherds are walking out of the town back to their field, probably needing to herd their sheep back together again. They sit down in the grass and look up at the sky as the sun rises up. They put their staffs down for a moment so they can rest and soak everything in. 

Not even the Bethlehem dawn
Could compare to the light it revealed
Not even the Bethlehem sun that revealed the son of God 
Sleeping in a cattle stall
The almighty God, humbled to save us all
Not even the Bethlehem dawn 

Did all of that really just happen?

Did angels really come and speak to us - lighting up the sky?

Did we really just see God as a baby?

The cry of a baby shatters the silence
Can you believe, that same voice makes my heart beat?
And the tears in his eyes, and in his mother's and fathers
Are tears for all mankind

What's so cool about some of the songs on this album is that they truly capture what it means to be in awe. says awe is:


an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, fearetc.,produced by that which is grand, sublime, extremelypowerful, or the like: in awe of God; in awe of great politicalfigures.
Archaic power to inspire fear or reverence.
Obsolete fear or dread.

Yup. I'd say that's pretty accurate to what this song is talking about. Being in awe of God and all that he has done. You can't describe it or comprehend it. You're simply... amazed. I feel like in our culture we don't get that feeling of awe very often. So many things can be explained with science, and we can find anything through the internet. The sky truly is the limit. 

I mean... when was the last time you were truly in awe of something?

This little baby is crying my tears for me
This little baby is bathing in my shame
This little baby is giving up his glory
To take my place
To light the way

That is what is so awe inspiring about Christmas. The first people to greet Jesus were shepherds. Ordinary, everyday, broken people. Shepherds in a way would be like the truck drivers of our day. Jesus came for them. This little baby did it all for us. To take our place. To love us. To take all of our brokenness and shame and cry our tears for us. That little baby came for the cross.

Can you believe what he sacrificed for me?
Not even the Bethlehem dawn

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them: "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David ad Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." - Luke 2:8-12

When was the last time you were in awe?

If you would like to catch up on this series, click here for a list of all of the posts. There is one more left!

Also, in January I'll be ready for a new blog sponsor swap buddy. Contact me if you are interested.

Mingle 240


  1. The last time I was in awe was a sunset I saw three days ago. It accentuated just how big the sky is, and just how absolutely brilliant colors can be. In the dead of winter in Washington state, life gets pretty incredibly gray. But that was incredible. It felt like I was being held in the hand of God and promised there are more beautiful things on the horizon, especially since I don't see them coming.

  2. @Jorah- I love the sky. It simply amazes me how God can paint it so many different colors. And those moments when you KNOW he's there and he's putting his hand on you... indescribable. I love it!

  3. Awesome pictures! The last time I remember being in absolute awe was when I went to the mountains around a month ago. I hadn't seen the mountains during the autumn before, and it was amazing. I instantly started reflecting upon God's creation upon seeing the scenery. I had been so stressed out that week too, and that trip put me at peace.

  4. @Holly- YES! I completely agree. There is something about the mountains that just takes my breath away. It's amazing.


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