A Morning Meditation
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.
With the dawn of every new morning comes an extension of divine mercy. And it is not simply the case that His mercy is carried in, per se, by each new dawn; each new dawn is carried in by His mercy. If it were not for the steadfast and merciful love of God, opportunity for life would cease. As David Steindl-Rast says, “All of life is a gift.” It is. We could not be. And just because we are given life today does not now mean that we are entitled to a tomorrow.
Life is delicate, in that it is forced, as “the force that through the green fuse drives the flower” (Dylan Thomas, Miscellany One, 7). It is forced, enfleshed really, through the mercy of God, as if divine mercy is the creative element for each new day. And in this sense, as was already said, life is delicate. If it is given, it could be withheld. Yet, although it is delicate in the sense that it is given, it is sure in the sense that it is given by God. God is perfectly steadfast, and He views life as good.
He spoke over His creation, “good” - not in a dry and moralistic sense; He does not view His creation as an ethicist would a set of values, but as an artist would a painting. Creation was not good in the sense that it was sinless; in the sense that the sickness of immorality had not yet infected creation, but in the sense of beauty. What God imagined, or rather innately possesses in the metaphysical fabric of His being - beauty - He allowed creation to participate in.
“Let there be light,” God said, “and there was light. And God saw that the light was good.” God does not call darkness “good.” God separated the good from the un-good. “God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day” (Genesis 1:4-5). Darkness and light. Night and day. The cosmos are continually engaged in liturgy; in worship, and the heavens declare the glory of God (Psalm 19:1). I won’t make a huge deal out of the order of “times,” but it is interesting that the Scriptures speak of evening preceding morning, as if dawn defeats the darkness. And according to the prologue of John’s Gospel, it does: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5).
Each new day is an act of mercy, but each new day is a proclamation of the Gospel. It is almost sacramental. On the night Jesus was betrayed, He took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me” (I Corinthians 11:25). In the same vein, the heavens, the cosmos; matter and energy; stars and planets, are coming together, remembering the good news of Christ, and are producing the day, because they too are perpetually crying out the same petition as the Spirit and the Bride - “Come!” (Revelation 22:17). They are; all of creation, waiting with eager longing (Romans 8:19).
Each new day is a product of worship; of gospel celebration. The Gospel is the foundation; the purpose of each new dawn. God shows us with each day that He is a highly merciful God; that the darkness might linger, but the light will overcome. As it says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9). All of creation proclaims the reality that grace is bigger than our sin, because grace is from God, and sin is not. Sin is not justified, but sin is secondary now to grace, and as Christians, we’re called not to dwell on, or even necessarily defeat sin (as if we even had the power to do so), but to participate with all of creation in their gospel celebration, and allow darkness to be overcome by our worship.
Director of Youth & Discipleship
Riviera Baptist Church