Did you ever think about the fact that Christ was buried at sunset and rose again at sunrise? When I felt God leading me to catch as many sunrises and sunsets as possible for my Lenten fast, I did not make the connection to Easter weekend.
Watching a sunset was not as simple as watching the sunrise. I could not see the sunset from my home. I needed to walk or bike down to the end of my street. The first day, the sunset illuminated the sky just over the rooftops. I passed people who could see the beauty from my same perspective, yet everyone was so focused on other things they missed it. One man was doing some yard work; cars were scurrying by. As far as I knew, I was the only one who was looking at the color and splendor spread across the sky. I felt sorrow for all those who were missing the sunset that was right before their eyes if they only took the time to look. This was particularly poignant to me late in the Lenten season when I was gazing at a giant fuchsia-tinted ball of light illuminating the horizon with pinks, purples and orange. The sunset appeared to be otherworldly and even gave off an ominous luminosity. I found it interesting that more people stared at me staring at that mysterious sunset than looked down the street to see the astonishing sight.
It wouldn’t have been appropriate for me to tell everyone I passed to stop and take in the beauty; but because I looked so intently, there were times that others looked with me. My husband and I had several adventures together chasing the sunset. The people I dined with at sunset watched with me. Sometimes my efforts to take in the sunrise or sunset opened up spiritual conversations.
There were moments during time spent watching the sunset when everything else became completely blocked from sight. Sunsets can be blinding; you need to look away from time to time. This made me remember God’s glory. He is more than we can imagine. Just like I can’t fully take in a sunset with my own eyes, I cannot fully take in the mystery of the God who created it. He is more than my finite mind can conceive.
The most important lesson I learned from watching the sunset was the most obvious. The sun intensifies at sunset and transforms from a subtle yellow glow to a bright orange signal from our Lord, who rules the sky. He sends us a kind of caution signal to make us aware that another twenty-four hour period is over—the light will soon be gone. Sunset is a time to become aware. Were you pleased with the way you spent this time? Did you do what you set out to do with the time between sunrise and sunset? As the orange glow brings the world into a different light, it makes the once blue sky transition into one full of vibrant color stemming from the golden ball of light. As God brings this day to a close, He asks, “Was it a good day for you?”
Psalm 72:7 says, “In his days may the righteous flourish and prosperity abound till the moon is no more.”
The steeple at Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, has clocks that face all directions, each with the inscription Night Cometh. Jesus warned us to do the work He has given us to do now when He explained to His disciples, You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going (John 12:35). Make the most of this one and only day and reflect on all that you have experienced at sunset.