Christianity: The Morning

Life Together is taking quick turns and bobs and weaves through topics of Christianity. Bonhoeffer begins this chapter, “The Day With Others,” by describing the Old Testament understanding of day versus the New Testament understanding, and it is very interesting.

He describes that the Old Testament day begins at evening, or sunset, and is waiting in expectation for the sun to rise on the day. Bonhoeffer draws a symbolic meaning on this ancient perspective by saying that, just as Israel is waiting for the sun to rise, the Jews were waiting for the Messiah to appear, for the Son to “rise.”

The New Testament church day begins with the breaking of the morning light and ends with the light the next day. Bonhoeffer says this is a time of fulfillment, a time when the expected light arrives. Again, this is symbolic for the Messiah’s arrival and his expected coming is fulfilled!

I was struck by this paragraph on page 43 of the book. “For Christians the beginning of the day should not be burdened and oppressed with besetting concerns for the day’s work. At the threshold of the new day stands the Lord who made it. All the darkness and distraction of the dreams of night retreat before the clear light of Jesus Christ and his wakening Word. All unrest, all impurity, all care and anxiety flee before him. Therefore, at the beginning of the day let all distraction and empty talk be silenced and let the first thought and the first word belong to him to whom our whole life belongs. “‘Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light’ (Eph. 5:14).”

Whenever I hear people talk about their personal devotion time that they have set aside for the day, I hear a trend in the way people talk about the time of day they choose. If they choose the night time, they defend it by saying something along the lines of this, “Well, it’s just the best time for me to do it.” However, if people choose the morning, I hear them defend their choice by saying, “It’s when it is best for me.”

By Bonhoeffer’s understanding of the Scriptures that he presents (and he presents a lot of them) it would be safe to assume he argues for a morning devotion time. I have never heard someone point to the Bible and draw a conclusion for God’s intended “devotion” time for his people, but I am really convinced that what Bonhoeffer is saying is good!

Our Lord modeled an early morning devotion time, sometimes before daylight. I am convicted by the reading of the Scriptures that Bonhoeffer quotes that the morning must be my time to read, pray, and glorify God for his character and his works.

The morning appears to be a very sacred time for man to be with the Lord in prayer and in his Word. After reading this section of chapter 2, I am very inspired to purposefully focus my time in the morning to be for the Lord and not for myself.