This was my sunset last night. While not as spectacular as some that you see in the west, it isn't that shabby either. There are many photography contests just for images of sunrises and sunsets. Obviously they are visually important parts of our lives. This got me to thinking, besides the sometimes jaw-dropping beauty of them, what else is there about them that speaks to us? The first word that came to mind is "promises." In the case of sunrises the promise seems pretty straight forward. The long night of darkness is over. As the morning sky begins to lighten and glow, you know that you are being promised a new day, one that has no writing yet on its slate. It's a new beginning. If there were things about the day before that were unpleasant or difficult, the new day promises a chance to right wrongs, to find solutions, to become a better person, and so much more. But what about the promise made a by sunsets? I think Mary Lathby who, in 1878 wrote the words to the familiar hymn "Day Is Dying In The West," explains it better than I could, especially in the first and fourth verses:
Day is dying in the west,
Heav'n is touching earth with rest;
Wait and worship while the night
Sets her evening lamps alight
Thru all the sky.
When forever from our sight
Pass the stars, the day, the night,
Lord of angels, on our eyes
Let eternal morning rise,
And shadows end!