The Turn of the Season
We’re just a few weeks away from June 21, the longest day of the year, but we are even closer to the earliest sunrise. Here in Dallas, the earliest sunrise is 6:18 a.m., and (rounded to the nearest minute) that will be the time of sunrise from June 7 through June 17. The mathematics of this remain obscure to yours truly, but the facts are clear: sunrise starts getting earlier about two weeks before the summer solstice, whereas sunset keeps getting later until about two weeks after.
Hardly anything is as simple as it seemed in elementary school.
In principle, I consider Daylight Saving Time to be a fraud, an effort to make clock-shifting sound sensible, like saving money or saving energy. On the other hand, I like a later sunrise. It is lovely to take a walk while the sky is still dark and the air still cool, to get out early enough to see the sky lighten. If someday the law changes and we are on DST all year round, that would be fine with me, although I hope we would find an honest name for it.
Every morning is like a new creation. “Morning has broken like the first morning” begins Eleanor Farjeon’s fine poem (number 8 in The Hymnal 1982). There was once a first morning, when the “morning stars”—the angels—sang for joy. There was a first birdsong and a first dewfall, and every day is God’s re-creation of that first one.
When Israel was in the wilderness for forty years, every morning (except the morning of the Sabbath) God gave them bread from heaven, manna which they would go out to collect. About two thousand years later, it was in the morning that the women found the empty tomb.
Manna and resurrection are morning gifts. God provides our daily bread, and his raising us from sleep is a foretaste of a future raising up from death.
It seems wonderful to me that morning-time is slightly independent of the solstice, as if it has a bit of a mind of its own, changing time as we move through our days and seasons. Birds do not sing by a fixed clock, unlike all of us who rise with an alarm. They receive the new day and give praise as God has created them to do. We too are made to give praise every morning as the seasons turn.
Out & About. I am to preach at Church of the Incarnation, Dallas, on June 4, Trinity Sunday, at the traditional services: 7:30, 9, and 11:15 a.m.