Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I was doing some cleaning the other day, not something I ever quite do enough of I’m afraid, and I ran into a poem by Eleanor Farjean which got me thinking about her more famous poem, Morning Has Broken. Now as a child of the 60s I never actually knew that this poem was written by a women, or even that it was a hymn. My mom was a great fan of Cat Stevens, and I thought the lyrics, as well as the music were his.
I don’t know when I first found out my mistake, but I remember every time we get to sing this hymn, I smile and think of Eleanor. This is a long winded way of saying that running into Farjean’s other poem made me think of Morning Has Broken. Okay, and now you are wondering how I run into poems while I’m cleaning… yes, you guessed it, I was dusting the bookshelf and just had to pull out an old book of poems from my childhood. Such are the dangers of dusting a bookshelf.
In my morning prayers then, I opened up Morning Has Broken and had a read through it, well more of a hum through it, and I was struck yet again by the final stanza. Let me remind you:
Mine is the sunlight,
Mine is the morning,
Born of the one light
Eden saw play;
Praise with elation,
Praise every morning,
Of the new day.
This is a powerful image of the gift of the Resurrection. In the difficult news of the day, and the challenges of our own lives, how often do we forget what Jesus accomplished for us, what his life, his death and his resurrection made possible for each and everyone of us.
We know that the work a day world is not perfect, in fact it is feeling quite unsettled and even frightening, but Jesus told us so vividly in the gospels that we are not to worry, that even the birds of the air and the flowers of the field are counted and beloved by God. And as are they, so are we. We can choose to spend our mental ‘day’ reading about horrors, worrying about tomorrow, turning our face away from the sunlight, forgetting the morning. But that doesn’t mean the sunlight, the morning, new creation, the one light are not still there waiting for us to notice.
It was Eleanor Farjean’s genius to remind us that we live in God’s creation, we are God’s beloved, we are given a new day each and every day, and that through Jesus’s life and his resurrection, we have hope, and through that hope we can live lives that are more abundant. Still sometimes hope is hard to come by, and God knows this. So many of the psalms cry out for God’s help, ‘lest I be like unto those that go down into the Pit’, the pit of despair.
Farjean reminds us that the same love, the same light that created Eden, is still with us, and she encourages us to turn our face to the light of the morning and remember this fact. Next time things are not going so well, when that pit of despair is really difficult to get out of, look out at the early morning light, and just sit in the beauty of the new day, God’s gift to us each and every day.
With Blessings, Jessica