19 1-2 God’s glory is on tour in the skies,
God-craft on exhibit across the horizon.
Madame Day holds classes every morning,
Professor Night lectures each evening.
3-4 Their words aren’t heard,
their voices aren’t recorded,
But their silence fills the earth:
unspoken truth is spoken everywhere.
4-5 God makes a huge dome
for the sun—a superdome!
The morning sun’s a new husband
leaping from his honeymoon bed,
The daybreaking sun an athlete
racing to the tape.
6 That’s how God’s Word vaults across the skies
from sunrise to sunset,
Melting ice, scorching deserts,
warming hearts to faith.
The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson
My wife loves sunsets. This past summer for her birthday all she wanted was to go up to Tablerock to witness the sunset. There is something peaceful about the sunset, the way the sun slowly descends into the horizon only to rise again somewhere else. The movement of the sun reminds us of the reality of life; light, darkness, rest, work, life and death and life again. Where there are endings, there are also new beginnings. For most of us the new day begins at sunrise; the coming or the dawning of a new day. We rise to the coming of the new day, excited and hopeful for what this day might bring. We have made it through the long dark night, where our pain and loneliness only seems to intensify. With the rising of the sun comes relief from that which haunted us in the night. Yet in scripture the day does not begin at sunrise but at sunset. We begin the new day by entering into the darkness of night only to discover the wisdom and peace of the quiet and darkness. Science tells us that without a time of darkness, our brains begin to malfunction, sleep is altered, anxiety and fear increase. The lack of darkness does not bring us more hope and comfort.
One of the true gifts of the darkness is that it allows us time to think, sort out and refocus on what is really important to us. Right now for many of us we are entering into a time of perceived darkness. Businesses are closed, recreational activities are restricted, the bustle of daily life is has slowed dramatically. The quietness of night seems to be forcing itself upon us. Could this coming of night, be an opportunity for us to take a deep cleansing breath and remember what is important to us. Jesus reminds us there are twenty-four hours in the day. Twelve for work and twelve for rest. Maybe we have been extending those twelve hours of work way past their limits and it is time to enter into the night so that we might find rest.
As people of faith, we enter into this time of night with a sense of confidence. That for us night is not the end but the beginning of a new day and we can rest in that assurance of knowing that the sun will rise, but first we must be blessed by the peace and rest of the night.
Listed are some opportunities for you to enter the night
- Watch the sunset each night and pray that God would quiet your mind and heart.
- Before you go to sleep each night breathe in deep FAITH and breathe out FEAR. Repeat this 3 times
- If you are having a hard time sleeping. Write down what is on your mind keeping you from rest. Then turn these thoughts over to God.
- Mediate on one or several of these passages that help calm anxiety. 2 Timothy 1:7, Psalm 4:8, 1 Peter 5:6-7, Philippians 4:6-7, Isaiah 41:10, Isaiah 26:3 and John 14:1
- Journal about what you have learned about yourself at this time. This will help you remember, when life returns to it busyness. Make one goal on how you will maintain the rest you experienced during this time of night.
Holy God, creator of both the day and the night. In your wisdom you placed in all of creation the rhythm of work and rest, light and darkness. Give us your blessing that we might be confident that where ever we find ourselves this day we might know that you are with us. Give us the space to rest in the peace of your Holy Spirit and the strength to live into your will each day. So that whether we are awake or asleep your will might be done in our lives. Amen