Sunrise, Sunset

August 26, 2008

By: Dennis Bates

The way my house sits I can watch the sun rise from the deck off the family room in back, and I can watch it set from the porch in front of the house. Now that my wife and are both semi retired, there are days when we do both. We know now, of course, that the sun neither rises nor sets, but the illusion of these events is caused by the earth’s rotation on its mythical axis.


While that is scientifically true, poetically it isn’t nearly as satisfying When I have freshly brewed cup of coffee in my hand and am are still trying to focus first thing in the morning, it just seems right to think of the sun rising. The same goes for the evening. As a day’s worth of activities winds down, it just seems more relaxing to me to think that the son is setting, as tired as I am. There’s a soothing feeling about that somehow.


In the musical “Fiddler on the Roof” one of more memorable songs has the line, “Sunrise, Sunset, quickly flow the years.” It’s a melancholy song about the passage of time and how fast our lives go by. Who hasn’t said or thought at one time or another, “Where did all the time go?”


And yet, there is a beauty in the process. The first rays of sunlight in the morning often come in pinks and yellows that are duplicated by the last rays in the day that almost turn orange and seem to linger, especially in the fall. I’m sure there are scientific explanations for the colors, but I prefer to think of them as God’s brush strokes in the sky. No matter how hard we might try, we catch match them.


God’s sunlight causes the colors that begin and end each day, just as His Son light causes the colors of our lives. The Bible tells us that God is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end, just like His light is the beginning and the end of each day, For a Christian, God’s Son Jesus is the beginning and the end of our day. We can wake up to Him, be warmed by him and be soothed by Him in the evening when the day slows down so we can rest. He makes all things visible so we can see them.


So, in a very real sense, Jesus is the sunrise and the sunset of our lives, and we should remember that from now on when we see the first and the last rays of the day. In a very real sense they remind us of the source of all light and the reason for it. It wakes us up, sustains us and puts us to bed. I can see the beginning and the end of that light from both the back and the front of my house, almost as if somebody knew what they were doing when the built it.