Psalm 65:8 – In the farthest corners of the earth the glorious acts of God shall startle everyone. The dawn and sunset shout for joy! (The Living Bible)
Psalm 113:3 – Praise him from sunrise to sunset! (TLB)
Matthew 24:27 – For as the lightning flashes across the sky from east to west, so shall my coming be, when I, the Messiah, return. (TLB)
Luke 17:24 – For when I return, you will know it beyond all doubt. It will be as evident as the lightning that flashes across the skies. (TLB)
Here in mid-western Canada, an unusual phenomenon occurs. Perhaps because of the vast expanse of sky and the absence of pollution and humidity, we can often see a sunset in the east as well as in the west. The sun will shine off the clouds in both the east and the west as it sets, and so we have two sunsets at the same time.
The other evening, I was sitting out on my front steps admiring the eastern sunset, and I noticed a large mass of black clouds starting to form in the south. Knowing that storms building with huge thunderclouds like these often lead to some wonderful lightning flashes, I decided to stick around and see what developed.
As the sunset slowly disappeared, the thunderclouds started to roll in, and I wasn't disappointed by the flashes of lightning — both heat lightning and fork lightning. I have always enjoyed seeing God's fireworks. When I lived in south-western Ontario, I used to be treated to some of the best lightning displays I have ever seen.
As I sat and watched the two marvellous sights — each separate, yet also together — I couldn't help but marvel at God's handiwork. And to think that he would put on a display like this just for me! Maybe it was a little presumptuous to think that it was just for me, but I was still privileged to enjoy it.
The two passages from Psalms show my wonder and my praise for the sunset. Then I came across the passages from Matthew and Luke, which go along with the lightning. They really are the same but recounted by two different people. When the Messiah returns, it will be far more glorious and worthy of praise than these two beautiful signs in the sky. On that glorious day we will experience such joy and emotion that we will be speechless — even more so than I was that evening.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, as we await your coming again, we thank you for the beauty in the heavens of your creation. We know that when that wonderful day comes, you will dazzle us even more than the flashes of lightning or the vivid pinks and reds of the best of sunsets. Amen.