Friday, April 11, 2014 – Week of 5 Lent, Year Two[Go to Mission St Clare for an online version of the Daily Office including today’s scripture readings.]
Today’s Readings for the Daily Office:
Psalms 22 (morning) // 141, 143:1-11(12) (evening)
2 Corinthians 4:1-12
Even though my time zone switched to Daylight Savings Time over a month ago, it seems like only now are the sun’s patterns finally aligned with my sleeping and waking. My son’s schedule in particular matches the rising and setting of the sun almost perfectly at that moment. The sun sets right when he eats his supper, the daylight fades while he takes his bath, and the windows are dark by the time we rock him to sleep. Lately, he’s been fast asleep until light starts peeking around his curtains at about seven. Lucky us!
I really think that I’m at my happiest when my life, like the earth itself, revolves around the sun. The hours of prayer are a precious resource for keeping us in harmony with the natural patterns and changes of light that organize our universe.
In particular, one verse from today’s second reading strengthens this spirituality of alignment with the sun: “For it is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” This verse shows us the seamless continuity between the created light around us and the revelation of God’s grace and love in Christ.
I usually encounter this cherished verse as part of the devotion for early evening, found in the Book of Common Prayer (p. 139). When I read this verse in the evening, I imagine the indwelling light of Christ picking up where the sun leaves off. Just as the sun sets, we can begin to search for the light of Christ that shines through the darkness in our lives.
Reading this verse in the morning is a somewhat different experience. In the early hours of the day, Paul’s words invite us to recognize that the warmth, energy, and radiance that unfailingly greet us each day are one and the same with the love, inspiration, and beauty that God wants to offer us in Christ.
Whenever we encounter these brilliant words from Paul, they can teach us to connect the light in our hearts to the rhythms of light that surround us. Whether we orient our lives around the ups and downs of the sun or around the face of Christ, it is the same God who brings us peace and joy.
Lora Walsh blogs about taking risks and seeking grace at A Daily Scandal. She serves as curate of Grace Episcopal Church in Siloam Springs and as director of the Ark Fellows, an Episcopal Service Corps program sponsored by St. Paul’s in Fayetteville, Arkansas.