Saturday, March 19, 2016

Starting the Day Right

March 19, 2016

The ancient Hebrews did things a bit differently than we do today, in a way that makes a great deal of sense when you think about it. In the very beginning of the Jewish Scriptures we read of the creation of the world. Six different times the record states that God created different parts of the world as we know it, using the words, "God said..." Whatever God said happened, and he called it good. At the end of each stage of creation it says, "and the evening and the morning were the [first, second, etc.] day."

Did you catch how it is recorded? The day began in the evening, not at daybreak, or as we have it, the middle of the night. Our system really makes little sense. Why would the day begin at midnight? To begin the day at sunrise makes sense, but that isn't the way the Hebrew people reckoned time. They began at sundown, reminiscent of God beginning creation in darkness that he turned into light. Each new day was a reminder that God is the one who breaks into the darkness with his Word of light and life. Each evening as they lay down to sleep, it was in the knowledge that through the darkness God was there speaking light and life while they slept.

It's not a bad way to start the day. I wonder how much different our days would be if we began them the night before, committing the hours of sleep into the hands of God. We might sleep more peacefully and wake more refreshed if we began the day the night before. I'm going to try it tonight; beginning Sunday on Saturday evening isn't just for preachers. We might all do well to prepare for worship the evening before we gather. I bet the pastor would be thankful to have a church full of people prayed up, rested, and eager to hear the Word proclaimed with power because they started getting ready the night before. You might want to try it. Turn off the TV, put down the book, spend some time with God. We might have a lot of people giving thanks tomorrow.

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