This is being written at 6:15 in the evening on June 20 (three hours and 21 minutes before the official start of summer). Families are gathering, laughing, playing, setting up chairs and laying out blankets, strategically positioning themselves on a Massachusetts mountaintop, preparing to view the last spectacular sunset of Spring 2000.
Throughout time, people have celebrated the grand events of nature - the sunrises, the sunsets, the changes of season. At these times the sun, supreme among astronomical bodies from an earthling's perspective, provides more than physical illumination and heat. It furnishes a unique symbol of a universe that's ordered intelligently, benevolently. The sun has often been regarded as having otherworldly, godly power. And some people believe that the sun, together with the moon and stars, can exert godlike power over humans, determining our personality and our destiny.
But according to the Bible, "power belongeth unto God" (Ps. 62:11). God is the only creator and controller of His spiritual universe, and everything in the universe serves God.
The idea that existence isn't material, isn't controlled by astronomical rocks and minerals and gaseous masses of matter, is not a new idea. For centuries there have been people who intuited that existence is beyond what the eyes can see.
The woman who started the Monitor, Mary Baker Eddy, wrote that the spiritual significance of the sun is "the symbol of Soul governing man, - of Truth, Life, and Love" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pg. 595). Here Soul, Truth, Life, Love are actual names for God. In other words, the sun is a symbol of God, and sunbeams symbolize our relationship to God. "Man is not God, but like a ray of light which comes from the sun, man, the outcome of God, reflects God" (Science and Health, pg. 250).
We coexist with God. We are living proof that God exists. From God we have radiance, joy, intelligence, love, individuality, purpose, and life. Qualities such as these emanate from Him/Her, nonstop and forever.
God is Mind, so the essence of the universe is thought. Existence is made up of the magnificent ideas of this divine Mind of the universe. And you and I are the loved daughters and sons of this loving, omnipotent creator. God is also Principle. We are governed by this divine Principle of existence, an invisible power that's always in force. And we can know this - know that Principle is ordering and sustaining every aspect of our life.
Such knowing gives you the assurance that you can overcome problems. For if God is good and if God is All, then anything that isn't like God - including disease, fear, trauma, hopelessness, deformity, grief, and poverty - can't be insurmountable. Evil must be ultimately powerless in the presence of God. As powerless as darkness is in the face of the shining light of the sun.
Maybe that's why people gather on mountains and on beaches at sunset: to honor the magnificence of God - and the magnificence inherent in the consciousness of every child, woman, and man. To honor the connection we each have with the infinite, with the divine, with all things great and transcendent and good.
The sun, of course, never stops shining. It's always daytime somewhere. No matter how short the days may be, or how dark the night, the sun is unaffected. So, too, God's love never wanes, never stops shining. Never stops giving all the good you need, every moment, in the most practical and remarkable ways.
Time to go. The bagpipers are warming up...
A day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee. Psalms 84:10-12
(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society