Christmas Day: Jesus Is the Root of David and the Bright Morning Star


Revelation 22:16 (NIV)

I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.


Christmas is here, and we rejoice together in celebration! Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us. Christ is the Root and offspring of David, and the Bright Morning Star. You came to us as King, and you will come to us again as Returning King, to reign forever. Glory to God in the highest!

From the root of David you came to us, from a people, from a place, and from a story. That story leads us to today, where the Lamb of God, the King of all Kings who rules supreme, forever, is celebrated and blessed as the world’s one true leader (Rev. 17:14). From that root, you came to us as our Great High Priest. There is now one mediator between God and humankind, who lives forever to stand in the gap for us (1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 7:25).

Then, as the Bright Morning Star, you brought the Light of the New Creation to us, revealing that salvation is here for the heart ready to be made new. Christmas is a sign and a wonder that points to the fact that all things are being made new by a God who enters the old to birth the new from within. The Light enters the darkness, in order to dispel the darkness; that is the message of Christmas. 

In both these images, Christ as the root of David and as the Bright Morning Star, Christmastide is revealed to mean that God incarnates to intervene—to intervene in our mess, our injustice, our idolatry, our confusion and our hatred and our self-serving, to address the problem from the inside out—in the person of Christ.

The Deliverer the Father sends came to deliver us from the same evil that threatens every human being from the heart, spreading a slow poison into all our lives—sin. Just when the world thought it could continue to blame someone else, something else for its ills, to continue to wage war and to destroy lives that get in our way, Jesus arrives and exposes it all as a problem of the heart—a problem shared by every man, woman, and child on the planet.

Born in the manger, from the root of David, the problem is addressed. Jesus, the King of the New Creation, revealed our hearts to us, like the Morning Star revealing the new day. Jesus was born, and both lived and died, for this work of revelation and healing of the human spirit. 

Then, he rose again, ascending to the Father, to become the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords for all eternity. There is a human being at the right hand of God, fully God and fully human, who walked among us full of grace and truth (John 1:14). He showed us the way to live (Matt. 5-7), revealed the Father (John 17:25-26), and faced death and persecution for loving us enough to be the Way, the Truth, and the Life among us (John 14:6). And then he rose again from the grave, our Emmanuel, God with us, the Root and Offspring of David, the Bright Morning Star—living and reigning forever.

That root of David, the promised Messiah, the one who shines like the Bright Morning Star, cuts through the night and welcomes you and I toward the dawn. He has come to us. Joy to the World! 

Merry Christmas! God, our Emmanuel, is truly with you—is truly with us.


Root of David, Bright Morning Star, you light the world with your presence and you light my heart with your love. Thank you for your Advent among us, your coming to us, to live before us, in us, and through us in the world. Your Spirit is at work, and I ask that you would reveal to me how I can best join you in that work in the days I am given. In Jesus’ name, amen.


This Christmas Day, how can you delight in the work the Lord has done in you as you go through the activities of the day? Pause now to reflect on how the Morning Star has brought light into your life this year, and trust, with expectation, that he will do the same in the next.

For the Awakening, and Merry Christmas,
Dan Wilt

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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

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