You have made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting. You make darkness, and it is night, when all the animals of the forest come creeping out.
Psalm 104.1-4, 19-23
1 Bless the Lord, O my soul.
O Lord my God, you are very great.
You are clothed with honour and majesty,
2 wrapped in light as with a garment.
You stretch out the heavens like a tent,
3 you set the beams of your chambers on the waters,
you make the clouds your chariot,
you ride on the wings of the wind,
4 you make the winds your messengers,
fire and flame your ministers.
19 You have made the moon to mark the seasons;
the sun knows its time for setting.
20 You make darkness, and it is night,
when all the animals of the forest come creeping out.
21 The young lions roar for their prey,
seeking their food from God.
22 When the sun rises, they withdraw
and lie down in their dens.
23 People go out to their work
and to their labour until the evening.
On the fourth day of creation darkness, as well as light, is declared good. Light pollution , however, means that more than one third of the human population is no longer able to see the Milky Way.
But it is not just about what people cannot see. Frogs and toads are affected by the artificial light, as are migratory birds flying at night. Natural darkness enables humans to appreciate the wonders of the night sky – and many other creatures to flourish.
Are there any outside lights you could switch off or lower at night? If your church has floodlighting, could it be switched off for the rest of Lent?
Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.
Great is thy faithfulness! Great is thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed thy hand hath provided —
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!
From “Great is thy faithfulness”,
by Thomas Chisholm (1866–1960)
Find out why darkness is good
God declares both day and night to be good (Genesis 1). Research out online why dark skies are so important to so many animals.
|Reflections from the Church House Publishing booklet #LiveLent: Care for God’s Creation – A 40-Day Challenge inspired and informed by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s 2020 Lent book Saying Yes to Life by Ruth Valerio (SPCK) are copyright 2020 The Archbishops’ Council and used here with permission. Full details of both resources are available on the Church of England website.|
Bible readings are taken from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.