This is an updated version of a blog I posted a few years ago at this time. I hope it brightens your day – pun intended.
This Sunday, June 20, 11:32 PM EDT is the Summer Solstice, beginning the longest day and shortest night of the year for those in the northern hemisphere. The term "solstice" comes from the Latin "solstitium," meaning "sun standing still."
(I'll give you a moment to be impressed ... OK.)
I love the Summer Solstice. Even though I live in a place with an average temperature of “meltdown” this time of year, I like this point on the calendar for this reason: I enjoy long, long days ... and this is as long as they get.
I like being active. I don’t do idle very well. And I find it easier to do more the more daylight we have. In fact, I think I’d enjoy living in Alaska ... for about two-three weeks a year.
A friend once asked me if I wished I could stay awake all the time, or be someone who requires, gets and enjoys a lot of sleep. I told her if there was a pill I could take that would allow me to stay awake 24-7-365 and not need sleep, I’d order a lifetime supply. There are just so many things I want to do ….
Sleepless in Miami?
Half of you probably agree with me, and the other half think that’s weird. (Slackers!!) But for those who find my affinity for the daylight strange, I would have you note that the Bible’s on my side. Or better, I’m on the Bible’s side on this.
Consider just a few of the things Jesus had to say about light:
- [Jesus said,] “We must work the works of him who sent me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work.” – John 9:4
- Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” – John 11:9-10
- So Jesus said to them, “For a little while longer the Light is among you. Walk while you have the Light, so that darkness will not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes. While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of Light.” – John 12:35-36
Of the biblical writers, the Apostle John says the most about light:
- This is the message we have heard from him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as he himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. – I John 1:5-7
Paul tells us:
- [Y]ou were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. ... [A]ll things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. For this reason it says,
And arise from the dead,
And Christ will shine on you.” – Ephesians 5:7-14
- Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. – James 1:17
So I love the long days, the extra daylight. I know that from now till the Winter Solstice, on or about December 21st, the days slide downhill, getting shorter and shorter … then rebound again and head toward the Summer Solstice.
Every year, the same pattern. From Solstice to Solstice, the days go from longer to shorter, back to longer, back to shorter and on and on. It’s like clockwork. No, it’s better than clockwork. Clocks eventually wear out and break down. The cycle of our days goes on and on into the indefinite future.
And that future, to coin a phrase, is bright. Bright as in 24-7-365, if those numbers have any meaning where I’m headed.
Bright Lights, BIG City
Describing the City of God, the New Jerusalem, John writes:
- And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed; and they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it; and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. – Revelation 21:23-27
Take that, slackers, vampires, Goths and assorted other night crawlers. Nothing but unending day, uninterrupted light, the purest, cleanest, most radiant Light in the universe and beyond the universe. The Light that struck the original spark that made the universe come blazing into existence in the first place, in Genesis 1.
You know how that goes:
- In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good …. – Genesis 1:1-4
From the Garden, where all was good, including the light, at least for a while … to the City, where it will be even better, and for always.
I can’t wait.