The Significance of Dawn


I woke up before sunrise when my husband pulled back the curtains in our beach level hotel room in Virginia Beach. I already planned to wake up early so that I could sit on the beach alone watching the sun rise before our daughter woke up for the day. I’m a morning person anyway, so waking up the 30 minutes early wasn’t a big change. When I looked out and saw the early dawn colors along the horizon above the crashing waves, I quickly grabbed my sandals and chair and went out the sliding glass doors to the beach.

It was a cool morning and it was a good thing that I thought to pack a long sleeved shirt. June in Virginia Beach is always unpredictable. Yesterday the morning started calm and tranquil. We were able to watch the dolphins hunting just off shore. We even saw two babies swimming in unison with their mothers. The Atlantic Ocean seemed to be more like a lake than an ocean.

That changed suddenly when the wind came gusting in at about 9:45 am. One of my daughter’s sand toys when flying down the beach never to be seen again. That kind of calm usually means something is coming. This morning the waves are crashing intensely against the shore and a Rip Tide Warning extends from here to the Outer Banks in North Carolina.

It’s an interesting juxtaposition, the crashing of the angry waves and the silence of sunrise. I sat in my beach chair watching the colors transition from a deep purple and pink, to red and orange, to the golden yellows that signal the rising of the sun. I prayed Lauds as the sun was rising. The Antiphons and Psalms were fitting for so glorious a sunrise as they spoke of God’s great Light and the joy of meeting a new day at dawn. A good many of us don’t meet the day at dawn, but there is something special about that time of day. As a kayaker, it’s my favorite time to be out on the water.

Each dawn reminds us of the joy of the Resurrection. The darkness of the night has given way to the peace and beauty of morning. As we awake from our nightly slumber–a reminder of our eventual death–we are met with the light of a new day. We don’t yet know what God has planned for us on any given day, but the rising sun is a reminder that we always dwell in His Light, truth, and joy. Even as the waves crash with all of their might against the shores of our lives, the calm tranquility of Our Triune God draws us ever closer. Each new day is an opportunity to dwell in greater communion with Him and with others as He shapes us into the glorious creation He intends each one of us to be.


1 Thessalonians 5:4-5 ©
It is not as if you live in the dark, my brothers, for that Day to overtake you like a thief. No, you are all sons of light and sons of the day: we do not belong to the night or to darkness.

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