A Moment to Reflect

18 August 2020

A Moment to Reflect -84

Another sky over Carluke. 

I might have posted one of the many, many photographs of sunrises that I have taken over Carluke, because the main windows of our house face East. But I have chosen a sunset, and for a specific reason. 

To the Hebrew mind, reflected in the writings of the Bible, evening comes before morning not after it, as we normally assume. Sabbath begins at sundown on the Friday and ends at sundown on the Saturday.

This pattern reflects the Creation story in Genesis in which, after each stage of creation, comes the repeated phrase, “And there was evening and there was morning, one day.” The pattern re-occurs in the Book of Psalms. After the opening introductory Psalms 1-3, there comes an Evening Prayer (Psalm 4) followed by a Morning Prayer (Psalm 5.)

The late Eugene Peterson had this to say about this Biblical order of things.

“It is first evening prayer, then morning prayer. The order is not reversible. Evening prayer is succeeded, after several hours of unconsciousness, by morning prayer. The sequence is not Hebrew perversity but grace embedded in the earth’s rotation.”—Eugene Peterson, Answering God.

So, first of all the night…

One of my favourite descriptions of nightfall can be found in John Steinbeck’s classic, The Grapes of Wrath, where he writes, 

“A large drop of sun lingered on the horizon and then dripped over and was gone, and the sky was brilliant over the spot where it had gone, and a torn cloud, like a bloody rag, hung over the spot of its going. And dusk crept over the sky from the eastern horizon, and darkness crept over the land from the east.” —John Steinbeck.

There’s something slightly menacing in that phrase “and darkness crept over the land from the east” and, of course, many people do fear the dark. It is often a symbol for danger, chaos, wrongdoing and evil… all the terrors of the night… even in our urban societies where the streets are lit by artificial light. 

But, here’s the thing… the morning is yet to come…

Reflect on that, and on these lyrics from the song, “Your Father” by Annie Herring

He can move mountains
He can calm the wildest storm
He knows you’re broken
Hears you cry
And wonder why

Oh, wait ’til you see the dawnin’
Wait, there’s a brand new day
Wait ’til you see the morning star rise

So don’t give up, don’t give up
Don’t give in, don’t give in
Don’t let go
Of what He’s been promisin’ you
Don’t you know, deep within
The fight goes on and on
But with Him, you will win
Your Father loves to watch you grow

Although you’re weary
Your time will come
When you will run
And play among the meadows
Of His grace
In His embrace

Oh, wait ’til you see the dawnin’
Wait, there’s a brand new day
Wait ’til you see the morning star rise

So don’t give up, don’t give up
Don’t give in, don’t give in
Don’t let go
Of what He’s been promisin’ you
Don’t you know, deep inside
Every dream, there is a dark side
Your Father loves to watch you grow