In our lives, we all experience the gloom. It's not a total darkness, but we all know it in some way or another. For all of us, there is at least some suffering, though for some maybe more than others. We all realize not only the suffering we experience due to the wrongs that are done to us, but we're also very aware (though we might not admit it) of how much suffering we've caused through the wrong we have done to others. (And that's not even to consider the uncontrollable circumstances of the gloom, like sickness or hard economic times.)
Still, we all know joy as well, even if we don't always remember it. We dwell in darkness, but only to a certain extent. There is just enough light perhaps for us to trip and stumble if we don't have a guide.
We live in a kind of grey-ness, but what sort of grey is it? Is it dusk or is it dawn? Here's where the hymn comes into play:
Sunset to sunrise changes now,
for God doth make his world anew;
on the Redeemer's thorn-crowned brow
the wonders of that dawn we view.
E'en though the sun withholds its light,
lo! a more heavenly lamp shines here,
and from the cross on Calvary's height
gleams of eternity appear.
Here in o'er-whelming final strife
the Lord of life hath victory,
and sin is slain, and death brings life,
and earth inherits heaven's key.
Before Jesus came among us, before God became Man and gave himself for us, our state was that of sunset. The day was headed steadily into night. Our existence, originally intended to be lofty, was speeding toward total darkness, and without the great divine intervention, we were without hope. Through our Original Sin, we did our very best to thwart God's original intention for us.
But He does not give up so easily.
Night was coming fast, and we were caught in the near perfect gloom. But then, in what seemed like defeat, in that moment wherein His human life was extinguished, our truly human life was given back. Sunset was changed into sunrise. Now, we are still waiting in a grey world, but it's the grey of dawn, not of dusk. The sun was so near to sinking with great finality, but now the Sun is about to rise (or rather He IS risen!) and the night will be clear as day.
"You are not in darkness, that the day should catch you off guard like a thief. For all of you are children of the light and of the day. We belong neither to the night or to the darkness." (1 Th 5:4,5)
Indeed, when that Day shall come in all its fullness, the words of Revelation will ring truer than ever: "They shall see the Lord face to face and bear his name on their foreheads. The night shall be no more. They will need no light from lamps or the sun, for the Lord God shall give them light, and they shall reign forever." (Rev 22:4,5) Just like the hymn says: Lo! a more heavenly lamp shines here! The Cross is the new dawn of the human race. Just imagine what the day will be like...
Back to the irrelevant photos: