By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird
I opened my bedroom curtains today at 6:41 a.m. to experience the brilliance of a radiant summer sun. It felt very warm, peaceful, and invigorating. I love the sun. My moods, thoughts, and attitudes can be significantly impacted by the “presence” or “absence” of that strange dwarf star that we call “SUN”.
Most of us are sun worshippers at heart (even with the threat of skin cancer, or worse). I remember lying on the beach at Waikiki, reading Paradise Lost for an upcoming exam, and desperately trying to get a tan before the flight back to Vancouver. All I got for my troubles that day was a soggy book from the tropical rain showers.
Everyone loves the Summer Sunshine! We love it so much that we have even named a day of the week after it (Sun Day, from the latin dies solis: day of the sun). The sun is vital to virtually everyone’s well-being and career. Imagine Greater Vancouver in August without a single day of sunshine. It would almost feel immoral.
Greater Vancouver residents may be willing to accept liquid sunshine throughout the rest of the year, but in August genuine summer sunshine is a must. Even one day of experiencing the beauty of a sunny summer day is enough to make you forget a dozen rainy days.
Why this love affair, this fascination with the sun? Perhaps because of its mysterious nature and its overwhelming size. The sun’s volume is 1,300,000 times that of the earth. If the sun were a skyscraper, the earth would be the size of a person. The moon would be the size of a cocker spaniel standing next to the person.
Scientists tell us that the centre of the sun is about 27,000,000°F (1 5,000,000°C). If we were any closer to the sun, we’d be burned to a crisp. Being at a healthy 93 million miles away, we merely toast on a summer day rather than roast. Fortunately for us, only about one two-billionth of the sun’s light and heat reaches the earth. The rest is lost in space.
The Egyptians, Greeks and many other ancient people thought that the sun was a God. They literally worshipped the sun, made offerings to it, and built massive temples. The ancient Jewish people, in contrast, pointed to the One behind the Sun.
The Old Testament predicted that some day “the sun of righteousness will come with healing in its wings” That sun came in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. The Bible often described Jesus as being “like the sun shining in all its brilliance” Jesus said, “I am the light of the world … Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become children of light”
My prayer is that as you experience the SUN SHINE of a summer day, you may also experience the SON LIGHT of the eternal Son.
Have a sunny day!
The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird
-author of the award-winning book Battle for the Soul of Canada
-previously published in the Deep Cove Crier
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