Galilee Sabbath sunrise

May 5, 2012

It is the Sabbath.  The Jewish Sabbath begins at sundown (or when the first three stars are visible in the sky) on Friday evening, and continues until sundown on Saturday. 

Why begin in the evening?  Simply because each of the days of creation conclude with the wonderful judgement of God: “It was evening and it was morning, the first day”

Those of you who have been reading this blog, or following my entries on facebook, will have noticed the ‘Galilee Sunrise’ image that I have used a lot.

While evening marks the beginning of the Jewish Sabbath, it is the rising of the Son of God that begins all Christian life. The women found the tomb of Jesus to be empty at sunrise on the first day of the week. They joined the other friends of Jesus announcing: “He is risen!”

The first Christians chose sunrise on the first day as their weekly time of worship. The first churches, and all churches for centuries were built to face the rising sun: ‘ad orientem‘.

A couple of pictures of sunrise this morning from our hotel.

and Thomas Merton’s Pilgrims Prayer to begin your day:


My Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end….
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you,
does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this,
You will lead me by the right road, though 
I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always though
I may seem lost in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.



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