Light comes from outside to illuminate the inside. God’s morning star and his rising sun draw near to us from the other world. When we believe this fact – when this news reaches our inner life – the morning star has arisen in our hearts. We are filled with light because the light of the world has reached us from afar. So it gives light to everyone who comes into this world. Seeing takes place only when the eye receives light rays in its own deepest depths (Matt. 6:22).
Jesus Christ intervenes in history and turns it into the history of the end-time. The end goes back to the beginning. The Morning Star of the new beginning appears (2 Pet. 1:19). The secret of life is the sun of the future. God’s aim is not the destruction of all things; his ultimate will is the resurrection of life.
The Son of Man leads the way for people to ultimately become true men and women (1 Cor. 15:20–22, 45–50). The heart and soul of the Bible is filled with this certainty.... The inmost depth of the Bible, its life and soul, is and remains peace. Loss of community with God always leads to murderous discord. Yet the morning star of the coming peace and unity is never extinguished.
When the days were fulfilled, the morning star of the king of peace rose in the firmament of prophecy. As the morning star of the church he heralds the dawn of the coming day (2 Pet. 1:16–19). The church is wedded to the sun of peace. Those who let the morning star rise in their hearts are freed from all warlike powers of this world. They belong with every beat of their hearts to the coming day of God’s great peace.
In Jesus, a fiery light infinitely stronger than all suns put together draws near to the earth. The footsteps of Jesus draw near in burning fire. His eyes are blazing flames. His countenance is radiant with the supreme power of all suns. Seven lampstands of golden fire surround him. Seven sun-stars are in his hand. His light casts human beings to the ground; his apostle fell at his feet as though dead (Rev. 1:12–17). The living one, however, gave him the resurrecting power of radiant life. He entrusted him with the glorious mystery of the church, the mystery of the kingdom. Jesus is the rising morning star.
Christ, the morning star of your hearts (2 Pet.1:19), sees within you the sun of the future. It is not humanity who has the power of vision. The inner light can see deep into eternity only because it is more than reason, more than human ability, more even than the deepest depths of the human conscience.
Life awakens with the light. Birds of daylight sing, flowers of the light open, and the whole land is radiant with the glory of the morning. This is what happens when the morning star heralds the sunrise of life. Whoever longs for light is open to it. Whoever loves light hastens toward it. “Those who live by the truth come to the light so that their works may be clearly seen, for they have been done in God” (John 3:21).
Jesus brings in the day. He ends the night. He is the morning star of the dawning day. He brings the old humankind to an end. He founds a new race: early Christianity called itself the “third race.” Jesus is the last Adam: the new man reveals himself as the new forefather. He shines out as the inner light of a new humanity. As the creative Word he brings into being the new people of creation’s new day. He is the enlightening and procreating Word (John 1:1–4).
Christ himself is the Word coming to life, the morning star and sun of the believing heart (2 Pet. 1:19). Only through the light of Christ, who is the Word, can our darkened inner life be freed from all unclarity.
Adapted from Inner Land: A Guide into the Heart of the Gospel (Walden, NY: Plough, 2019–2021). The original from 1936 has not yet been added to our digitial archive. But you can view an earlier version of the text from 1918 here.
Article edited for length and clarity.