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Sun of Righteousness

It is early in the 10th century, well into the afterglow of the great Celtic Revival, which lasted nearly 400 years.

Irish High Crosses (11)

The building of the high crosses follows the time in history that saw the production of beautiful illuminated books such as the Book of Kells and the Book of Durrow. Many of these books were destroyed in the looting and burning carried out by Viking and other invaders in Ireland. The stone high crosses were more durable and, by being placed outside the small churches, were available to illiterate countrymen who came to learn about the sacred stories they portrayed.

 - Elinor D. U. Powell, The High Crosses of Ireland

But to you who fear My name
The Sun of Righteousness shall arise
With healing in His wings…

 - Malachi 4.2

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…

 - 2 Corinthians 10.4, 5

It is early in the 10th century, well into the afterglow of the great Celtic Revival, which lasted nearly 400 years. We join a company of Irish folk as they gather around the 22-foot high cross in Moone, County Kildare, Ireland. We are welcomed by one of the monastic brethren, who bids us be seated and offers a prayer of thanksgiving for this time together. Our eyes follow his hand as he gestures upward to the circle and ring atop the Moone high cross. He begins to teach:

“Rejoice, friends, for the Sun of Righteousness is risen with healing in His wings. Our forebears venerated the sun for they knew it to be the source of light, warmth, and life. Further, the sun marks the days, months, and seasons, and thus also governs the times in which all things come to pass.

“And now, rejoice, for the Sun of Righteousness is risen with healing in His wings!

“Our forebears wondered at the mystery of time, which they represented in spirals, a continuous flow of moments flung out from a center into the indefinite beyond. We all live in time. Our lives spiral out from a beginning through the moments of our lives into eternity, an eternity which, because it is unknown to many is a cause of great uncertainty and fear.

“But we do not fear where the end of our time will leave us, not, that is, if we understand time as the creation of God and His Word, and if we see all time spiraling out from the Sun of Righteousness—even our Lord Jesus Christ—to bring the light, warmth, and salvation of God’s grace to all who believe.

“Patrick was the first of the new generation to experience Jesus as the Sun. In a dream, Jesus weighed so heavily on Patrick, urging him to receive His light and warmth, that it seemed to Patrick the very sun of heaven was threatening to consume him, and he cried out, ‘Helias, Helias!’, that is, ‘O Sun!, Sun!’

“But what seemed almost to destroy Patrick healed him of his fears and set him on a course of service to the Lord. We are the offspring of Patrick’s preaching. Through his words the Sun of Righteousness has risen throughout Ireland and beyond, drawing all the time of our lives—His great gift to us—into Himself for salvation and healing.

“Rejoice, with me, brothers and sisters, that the time of our lives is a time of healing and wholeness, and that the time of each of our lives flows in straight course before and unto the face of Jesus Christ. Rejoice!

“And now therefore, brothers and sisters, lift up your face to the Sun of Righteousness. Reach out to Him in love, and receive the light of truth, the warmth of grace, and the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ, the Sun of God’s Righteousness. He will heal you! He will forgive you! And He will bring you, at life’s end, into Himself, where you will be eternally safe, secure, and loved.

“Give thanks to God with me.”

For Reflection
1. How do you experience Jesus as the Sun of Righteousness?

2. How would you explain to an unsaved friend why Jesus is the Light of the world?

Psalm 19.4-6 (St. Christopher: Beneath the Cross of Jesus)
Behold, the sun arises, a bridegroom strong and bright,
rejoicing as he runs his course from morning unto night.
From east to west across the skies his circuit he completes,
and none can hide their sinful eyes or shelter from his heat.

Rise upon me, Lord, the Sun of Righteousness, and make me...

To learn more about the Celtic Revival, download our free PDF, The Celtic Revival: A Brief Introduction, by clicking here.

Support for Crosfigell comes from our faithful and generous God, who moves our readers to share financially in our work. If this article was helpful, please give Him thanks and praise.

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All Psalms for singing from The Ailbe Psalter. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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