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 Every evening around the same time we see people starting to gather on the beach

The sun sets at 6:12 P.M. 


It is that precise. 

And about twenty minutes before, people start making their way out of condos and VRBO’s and rentals to sit in the various chairs that line the beach or stand with their ankles in the surf along the shore. 

Human forms dot the beach up and down in both directions. Some just stand or sit and stare with quiet appreciation, some try to capture it on a phone. Some seem to be live videoing with family and some stroll along pausing every now and then to just absorb the beauty. 

As the orange orb sinks below the horizon of the ocean, these people turn and head back to dinner or whatever occupies them for the rest of the evening. Show is over. Time to go back to normal life. 

No tickets sold. 

No fees collected. 

Just God doing this grand exit for the burning ball of gas that keeps us warm and alive and we all stand there in awe and wonder as it leaves us to the night and moon and stars for another few hours. 

The afterglow lingers for quite a while. Shades of rose and pink spread in a wide band as the sun is no longer visible yet sends light up over the horizon. It is a marvel. It is beyond comprehension how this has gone on day after day, year after year since time began. 

It is the same beautiful sun that colors our Midwestern sky and takes my breath away. And yet here, people stop and make a point to gather and watch it as if it was a phenomenon they can’t see in their ordinary days at home. 

I think it is the sheer expanse of the water with no land in sight that sets a stage for the magnificence we miss as it sets in our neighborhoods and towns and cities. Nothing to block the view here, we are suddenly aware of how big God is and how small we are and we all stop for a minute in corporate severance and behold with awe and wonder the vastness of it all. 

But I know I have been blessed beyond measure to stand and watch this same sun sink down below the line of the horizon of prairie farms, full to the brim with tall green stalks and barren under winter snow. 


I have watched with my breath held as it sets over the questionably murky lake that nestles in the middle of our community and I I have watched it burn itself out with friends and family from boats and patios and picnics in various places from east to west and around the world over the years. 


And always it shouts the glory of God to me. 

Here, there, everywhere.

From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the LORD is to be praised. The LORD is exalted over all the nations, his glory above the heavens, Who is like the LORD our God, the One who sits enthroned on high, who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth?

Psalm 113:3-6


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