Evening and Morning

On the first day God created light. He separated the light from the darkness. He called the light Day and the darkness he called Night. These are divided; they’re not present together but one follows the other in rhythm. The days of the creation week are marked out by the repeated phrase evening and morning. This is interesting. Day and night have been established and named but aren’t used to mark the days. Evening and morning, not night and day. Night can be seen, or is implied in evening and day is implied in morning but the focus or emphasis is on the transition between the periods of dark and light. Why? Maybe because night and day would be awfully binary. There would still be a rhythm, but it would be a square wave, an off-on switch. That isn’t how the world comes to us. Life is mostly rise and fall, not up and down (unless one is manic-depressive, which isn’t a pleasant way to move through life). This is seen in the falling away and the drawing near of God’s people throughout scripture (and history); in the decline and renewal of the sanctuary; in the fall of empires and the rise of new ones. C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity) points out that the difference between Christians and atheists is not so black and white as we’d like. A person with a highly disagreeable temperament, or one from a rough background, even though a Christian, may not show the same level of care, love, consideration, or humility as an agreeable or better nurtured atheist. The one should, and they both may, be moving toward “light.” Likewise, a long-time professing Christian may be moving away, toward “darkness.” Neither is an all-at-once thing. Stasis or limbo are fleeting. We are (nearly) always moving somewhere. Evening and morning captures the dynamic rhythm, the constant becoming of life.