The gospels record that Jesus would arise very early, while was still dark to pray. Doesn’t that make Him sound noble, or ultra religious? He’s so very pious that He would make the great sacrifice from His sleep and get up to the duty of His prayer.
Honestly, I don’t think that was the case at all. Jesus got up early, whileit was still dark, to pray because that is one of the most beautiful times tocommunicate with God. Each new day God’s light penetrates the darknesswith the hope of His mercy and grace. The brilliance of a new day is always awake up call to your senses bringing fresh hope of renewal and strength.
Most people miss out on this glorious time of day, but never the birds. On arecent retreat as the Lord gently woke me be before sunrise, I experienced thecelebration of morning prayer and I looked forward to it just like Jesus. AsI sat in the darkness, in the distance I could hear the rooster. He crowed beforethe sun rose almost in anticipation and alert. The dark silence was interruptedonly by the buzzing of insects already started on their journey like many ofus who have early commutes, no time for quiet reflection before dark. I knewit was getting ready to happen when I could hear the birds singing. First onebird, then another, until the whole world was filled with their chirping.
The darkness contrasts with the light as God delivers a magnificent glimpse intothe colors of heaven. The blue that surrounds His throne is demonstrated to usas darkness is transformed by light. We witness hope, love, creation—thehandiwork of God.
Morning prayer was a delight to Jesus as He reveled in God receiving the gloryand honor and celebration of His amazing work. Even if no one else notices thefull impact of the day, the birds cry out. They cannot stop chirping; the brighterthe penetration of darkness, the louder is their song.
Morning brings promises of God’s provision of what we most need—mercyand grace. Lamentations 3:22-23 speaks about His mercies that are new every morning.I know you have busy lives, as do I. I’m not sure how often I will be ableto get up before dawn and have ample time to witness the sunrise, but I willremember it more because I set aside some days to realize its importance. I encourageyou to make time for this experience, perhaps on a Sunday, or on a retreat, soyou too can take in the mercy and grace and glorify God for His bountiful goodnesstowards you. You can know in your heart the truth that, His anger lasts onlya moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, butrejoicing comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5).