Holy Days exist as placeholders for intentional spiritual reflection and religious remembering. While they may not always be experienced as such, holy days are days set aside to become curious again, to ask questions again, to feel a sense of aliveness again. These days are opportunities to affirm, deepen and maybe even ditch some of the beliefs we have held onto from last year’s Holy Day. This is a day set aside to clean house, organize, and commence new additions to the archetypes of our belief systems.
Why else would we wake up before dawn on a Sunday in April if it were not for the nagging possibility inspired by an inherited curiosity? Our eternal wonderings about what all of this might mean and what difference any of that meaning might make. Year after year we gather to watch the sunrise because something inside of us remains curious and hopeful and delightfully desperate to connect with the Divine in an unforgettable way. I imagine we are looking for an encounter with love that on any other day may feel impossible to find. It is a magnificent motivation: wonder and awe, love and hope. Waking up early just for the possibility of putting a fresh coat of meaning over a story that, whether we find ourselves loving it or hating it, we have yet to lose faith in.
This morning it is the sun that burns and blazes, which rises and sets, reminding us of the relentless regularity of love’s life-giving presence. This morning, the sun is our first storyteller, radiantly reminding us of the formation of a galaxy that gave birth to stars that gave birth to planets, moons, and comets. This star became a supernova, an expansion sending shock waves of matter to disturb the cloud of gas and dust. This nebula condenses and spins, flattens into a disk. The bulge in its center suddenly brightens into the blinding light of a fusion reactor. Our sun is born. A child of the galaxy’s later years. The reason we exist. The reason all life on this planet exists. This untouchable sun rises as tangible love choreographed from the cosmic cry, “Let there be light!”
To witness the rise of the sun is to experience the physical presence of four and a half billion years of life-giving love. Imagine if a Holy Day famous for celebrating divine victory over sacrificial death was instead embodied with a resurrected awe for God’s cosmic creativity that extends to the creative design of our very beings. To set aside a day as holy for the sole purpose of making the profound connection that the Creator of the untouchable sun imagined twenty-seven bones organized in such a way that we could craft tools, plant seeds, and pull weeds. To imagine the thoughtfulness of being able to hold another’s hand. That the twenty-seven bones in one person’s hand would fit perfectly into the twenty-seven bones in another person’s hand.
The sun illuminates the very nature of our creation and, in its very presence, offers a reminder that we were designed to be here. That we were designed to remain here… connected to and caring for all of creation as kin. This is the promise of both the rising sun and the Risen Son on this Holy Day; the promise that our belonging in this universe and our purpose on this planet is evidenced in our very design.