Sunset and Sunrise of the Church


Today I took this photo during sunset at Andrew Haydon Park, Ottawa.
I guess you can’t tell from the photo whether it’s a sunset or sunrise. Unless you know the spot personally.
A sunset and sunrise stand as good metaphors for the institutional church. For many reasons. The image is full of meaning.
I reflect on the need for the people of God to surrender and let go of the good old days; the need to open our hands and release all the sentiments associated with those glory, golden decades of the church during the 20th century. It is a dying of sorts because the new thing can’t happen until we lay all that was on altar.
That lament is what stirs in my soul as I watch yet another sunset.
But there is beauty and hope in the experience, too. Not only do I witness and surrender the passing of a wonderful day. As I walk to the parking lot in near darkness, my back to the darkening sky behind me and the ball of flaming red long gone, I know the sun will rise again in the dawning light in a few hours.
Sunset. Sunrise. The promise of the new awaits as I sneak a glance towards the eastern sky. A smile on my lips.
But first I will sleep, and let the Lord, God of heaven and earth work the miracle of new life, resurrection, while I rest in grace and in peace.

I snapped this photo during a glorious sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean at Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in July 2011. The start of a new day, full of promise.
Behold, the light of the world has come, and darkness has not overcome it.

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