Today’s guest post, Sunrise Sightings of the Kingdom of God, written by Anthea Kotlan, first appeared on antheakotlan.com.
Don’t you love a good home or backyard makeover show?
Everyone does because it is entirely satisfying to spend less than an hour watching the entire transformation from broken to beautiful, gross to gorgeous, and so forth. A home renovation or backyard makeover typically takes months, but pop on your favorite streaming service, and you can witness a swift restoration. It’s a quick fix!
As humans, we are drawn to renewal. I believe it is a glimpse into the ache for the now and not yet of living in God’s Kingdom. God is in the business of renovating our lives for His glory. Will a setback turn into a setup for a miraculous display of restoration? Psalm 19 begins with recordings of these sightings in the world around us.
1The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. 2Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.3 There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard.4 Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun,5 which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.6 Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from its heat.(Psalm 19:1-6 ESV)
God appears in all aspects of creation. His presence is translated from the skies to the earth. In every 24-hour cycle, His presence is revealed from the first light to the dark of night. No part of earth or resident of this planet doesn’t experience the warmth of God’s presence. He covers every inch of the world and makes Himself known over and over in so many different ways because He is so kind. He wants everyone to see and experience Him. This drives His endless creativity to show up in new ways every day and night. Those twinkling stars, that staggering moon, and the sunrise remind us that His mercies are new every morning. He’s at work in a makeover every single day.
If your schedule permits, consider getting up about thirty minutes before the sun is scheduled to rise. Check the weather app on your phone; it will tell you when the sun will be coming up. Find a place outside where you can sit, sip coffee (a pretty essential part for me), and watch the first light of the sunrise begin to fill the sky. It’s a slow-motion reveal. Don’t take your eyes off the horizon for even a minute. A soft but growing glow begins the display. Then fingers of light poke up and out. Incrementally the sun appears and then hangs suspended between earth and the sky. So often, there is a vivid display of many colors. The sun almost seems to be paused, and yet it surges on. Finally, it is fully sprung and released to fill the sky with brightness.
This soul-tending activity is a sacred practice in the quiet early morning hours. It feels like a secret that God is sharing just with you. But, most of all, it is a reminder of God’s power to make all things new. A momentary glimpse into the promise of eternity in a new heaven and earth gives us the strength to face another day. These are sunrise sightings of the Kingdom of God.
Lord, open my eyes to your displays of majesty. Please help me to see what you are doing in the world around me every day to prove who you are. Thank you for the sunrises. Thank you for reminding me of how you renew my and your world. Amen.
For over thirty years, Anthea Kotlan has served as a women’s ministry leader in the church and community. She has a passion for discipleship and encouraging women to walk confidently in their God-given calling. She designs women’s retreats, teaches Bible studies, writes, and enjoys speaking at events. Recently, she began serving on a church plant team in Conroe, Texas with her husband, a bi-vocational priest. Every chance she gets, she spends time laughing with her two adult daughters or snuggling her two grandchildren. Check out Anthea’s blog for weekly soul-tending devotionals from the Psalms. antheakotlan.com
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