Today I was asked for a image of hope… Sunrise came to mind. While I rarely see it the Sunrise is a powerful symbol of hope for me. The way that the sunrise transforms everything it touches. Dark places become light. Cold hollows become warm. The early morning fog is burned off and clarity comes.
While those who know me best know I am not a morning person, I have to admit that my favorite service each year is our Easter Sunrise Service. Normally it is sparsely attended it is a service that holds such wonderful imagery. The sunrise of the day is emblematic of the wonderful reality that God is unfolding in the Son Rise that occurs with Jesus at Easter.
It seems to me that this many of the people around me (including myself in a way) have slumped into depression from the darkness of winter. The cold, damp and darkness has a powerful effect over the soul. Much like the cold dark tomb of Good Friday it is easy to lose hope. Yet the darkness of death is overcome by the light of the Son Rise.
After reflecting on the Sunrise image and the hope that I find in it I was drawn to John Denver’s “Sunshine on My Shoulders.” The song written two years before my birth may be seen a schmaltzy by some actually is a pretty uplifting view of things.
According to WikiPedia: “Denver described how he wrote “Sunshine on my Shoulders”: “I wrote the song in Minnesota at the time I call ‘late winter, early spring’. It was a dreary day, gray and slushy. The snow was melting and it was too cold to go outside and have fun, but God, you’re ready for spring. You want to get outdoors again and you’re waiting for that sun to shine, and you remember how sometimes just the sun itself can make you feel good. And in that very melancholy frame of mind I wrote ‘Sunshine on my Shoulders’.”
For me the reality of “almost always” is a powerful sentiment. There are times when the sunrise is just a sunrise. Up and down goes the sun without any thought. The absence of the sun heightens our appreciation of it.
If the sunrise is an image of hope what do when we in the almost part of almost always? How can we connect with the deep hope that comes from the Son Rise that is Jesus’ Resurrection and life on an always basis?
Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry
Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
Sunshine almost always makes me high
The power and love of Christ does exactly what John Denver says. It makes me happy. It makes me cry. It looks lovely and it makes me high.