There are two types of people…
If we listen closely enough we will often hear someone declare, “There are two types of people in the world…” and go on to make some clever observation about how we human beings go about the business of being human. Usually it has nothing to do with gender.
Well, it is time to say it, “There are two types of people in the world, morning people and everyone else.” Some people do their best work late at night when all is quiet or when the noise is a chosen one. They look with deep suspicion on those who do their best thinking first thing in the morning, and their finest work to the accompaniment of birds and the early morning news.
It is a good thing when these two types of people marry; that way work or fun can happen around the clock in their house.
In the earliest days of the church, hours of prayer were kept all through each day and night. To this day some of us do our devotions in the morning and others at night. The only rule we need to consider is to give the Lord our best time, be that early or late.
A Special Gift from God
Think for a moment of a different application of “mornings” as a special kind of gift from the Lord. The broad rhythms of life are vital to our spiritual and physical health.
- We need activity and we need rest.
- We need wakefulness and we need sleep.
- We need to be alert at crucial times and at other times we can tune out and the let the old earth turn without our help.
These alternating states of being come to us in the steady beat of day and night, of “morning and evening” as in the biblical account of the Creation.
Perhaps we should think of each morning as a “do-over”—a chance to try again. It is as if the darkness of night was a curtain drawn on the past and the light of day was the rising of the curtain on a future full of promise. Each morning is like a little New Year’s Day—a chance to out yesterday behind us and to improve on it today—a new challenge to keep life interesting. What a blessed gift from God!—Mornings!
Fear and darkness have always been partners.
Before the age of electricity homes and streets were dark or poorly lit by candles and lamps, slender flames against the wide darkness of night. The night held terrors both real and imagined. The ancient prayers the people of God used to pray through the night reveal this now-forgotten fear. In our modern world the troubles of the day or the frailties of the body may pain the mind or the human frame to the point of lost sleep. For these long nights, mornings are indeed a gift from God.
Of course the Bible famously promises that the loving-kindness of the Lord is new every morning. That means that as the earth is constantly turning, every moment is morning somewhere.
We can rejoice when the alarm shocks us awake. We can smile at the sunrise. We can spend time with God and a good cup of coffee, knowing that each morning holds a bit of the Resurrection morning and that God has gifted us each with a fresh start.
Maybe we will get it right this time!
Give ear to my words, O Lord; consider my meditation. Hearken to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I make my prayer to you. In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; early in the morning I make my appeal and watch for you. For you are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness, and evil cannot dwell with you. Braggarts cannot stand in your sight; you hate all those who work wickedness. You destroy those who speak lies; the bloodthirsty and deceitful, O Lord, you abhor. But as for me, through the greatness of your mercy I will go into your house; I will bow down toward your holy temple in awe of you. Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness, because of those who lie in wait for me; make your way straight before me. For there is no truth in their mouth; there is destruction in their heart; Their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue. Declare them guilty, O God; let them fall, because of their schemes. Because of their many transgressions cast them out, for they have rebelled against you. But all who take refuge in you will be glad; they will sing out their joy for ever. You will shelter them, so that those who love your Name may exult in you. For you, O Lord, will bless the righteous; you will defend them with your favor as with a shield.
Prayers for the Morning from the Book of Common Prayer
For the Renewal of Life
O God, the King eternal, whose light divides the day from the night and turns the shadow of death into the morning: Drive far from us all wrong desires, incline our hearts to keep Your law, and guide our feet into the way of peace; that, having done Your will with cheerfulness during the day, we may, when night comes, rejoice to give You thanks; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us in safety to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Heavenly Father, in You we live and move and have our being: We humbly pray You so to guide and govern us by Your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our life we may not forget You, but may remember that we are ever walking in Your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Morning Has Broken
Words: Eleanor Farjeon; Music: Gaelic Folk Tune
1. Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the Word.
2. Sweet the rain’s new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dewfall, on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where His feet pass.
3. Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God’s recreation of the new day.
© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved