At sunset Jacob came to a holy place and camped there. He lay down to to sleep … and dreamed. Genesis 28: 11
A sunset speaks of an ordinary day’s work completed well, of a year moving towards its climax, transfigured by glory. It is a gift. It cannot be won by restless striving. It is a glory; it makes the body tingle and the spirit serenely soar. The tiresome or clashing features of the day become silhouettes – beautiful, harmonious. Their darkness speaks of a mysterious but deep meaning.
The evening of our years is meant to be lived in such a dimension. Hear God saying to us: ‘Let me have my way among you. Do not strive, and I will crown your life with glory’.
On that night when St. Columba, by a happy and blessed death passed from earth to heaven, while I and others with me were fishing in the valley of the river Find, we saw the whole vault of heaven become suddenly illuminated. Towards the east there appeared something like an immense pillar of fire, which seemed to illuminate the whole earth like the summer sun at noon. After that the column penetrated the heavens, darkness followed, as if the sun had just set.
We welcome the Sun of suns who dispels the shades of sin.
The sun rises daily only because you command it;
Its splendour will not last, created things all perish.
Christ the true Sun nothing can destroy;
The Splendour of God, he shall reign for ever!
From the author’s Celtic Worship Through the Year
I praise you for the sun
The face of the God of life
As the sun sets in peace
May I settle in with you