Sunset or Sunrise? :: By Zuzana Randakova

Have you ever seen Disney Very Merry Christmas Sing-along Songs? The videocassettes were released in 1988; and even though I live in Slovakia, thanks to my father’s American friend Bob who gave it to us as a present, we were able to watch them. Each song (a Christmas carol) comes with an animation from various Disney movies and lyrics, which now I know by heart. And even as an adult, I always play the cassette during decorating the Christmas tree, and joyfully sing aloud.

My favorite carol was “Silent Night,” which is accompanied by a clip from Disney’s Fantasia movie ~ a procession of worshipers through a dark forest, enlightened only by their burning torches. And just as the song ends with the choir singing “Christ, the Savior is born,” you see sunrise behind a mountain, and the night slowly turns into day.

Watching and hearing it always gives me goosebumps!

Just a few days ago, I was watching almost the same scenery from my balcony; only this time, it was the sunset. The last rays of light were glowing with bright golden and orange hues. What came across my mind was this thought: if I woke up from a deep, long slumber just at this precise moment, and I wouldn’t have any clock (and no sense of where is the West and the East), I wouldn’t know whether I’m looking at sunrise or sunset.

Friends, if we look around the world today (and it doesn’t matter if you’re from America, or Slovakia, or any part of the Earth), we see a growing chaos and insanity. The world is going nuts! The last rays of the Sun are on the horizon, behind a mountain. The last shining rays of hope, goodness, morality and pureness, slowly fading and turning into the Night.

We knew this would happen. Why? Jesus, the prophets and the apostles in the Bible warned us in advance, so we shouldn’t be surprised.

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:1-5).

But oh, isn’t it heartbreaking and too hard to bear? Maybe we feel like the Night will never end. Imagine the apostles seeing Christ dead on the cross; their Messiah, reason of their Hope, the One for whom they left their lives and families. Yes, he warned them in advance that he would die. Maybe some had hope that he would rise very soon, right after His seeming death. But Friday had passed, and he was still dead. And Saturday was the same; no change, no hope; He was dead. They didn’t know that the light of Sunday morning was coming, the most glorious sunrise that has ever been!

The sunrise is indeed coming. Christ is coming. Yet, we feel weary; and sometimes we think that the Night will never end. As I said, we see some golden rays of Sun, and without clock or compass, we don’t know if it is sunset or sunrise.

But friends, we KNOW! We have a compass – it is God’s Word. His promises, prophecies and signs of the last times point us to the right direction. And we have a clock – and this clock is Israel. Combine the clock with the compass, and we know that the rays of light indicate sunrise, not sunset!

“But you aren’t in the dark about these things, dear brothers and sisters, and you won’t be surprised when the day of the Lord comes like a thief. For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night” ( 1 Thessalonians 5:4-5 )

Let this be an encouragement for you. What would be the indication of sunset (all the evil trends and natural catastrophes) is in fact, for us believers, the sign of sunrise. Jesus is the Light, shining (for now) from behind the mountain; but soon, and very, very soon, He will come – and with Him the day. And this Day will never end.


P.S.: If you want to see the 1988 movie clip for Disney’s Silent Night, here is the link: