The Sundowner

Your life is a gift, grace to be earned and cherished. Many folks step out of their ordinary lives, when they can, to experience something or some place different from their norm. As your years go by, how can you weave together so many unique experiences? Does it seem to you that your special experiences are disconnected from your everyday life?

The Sundowner understands the need for context, and chooses this theme: All earthly life ends like the sun seems to end each day when it sets in the west. He or she selects a place (a setting) to watch the sunset at every opportunity. Enjoy the sunset alone, with interesting people or with a special someone, with superb food and drink, in an exotic land, at a local outdoor restaurant, or from your backyard deck. Wherever you are, have been, or choose to be, the sun has or will set to signal the end of your day.

Notice how the mood changes as orange and red hues frame the reddening ball of the sun, and especially so if there are high clouds in the west. Have you heard the saying, “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight?” At sea, a working seaman (sailor) toils far longer than an 8-to-5 day, partly because the sea beats ships and boats to pieces, and the vessels must be regularly repaired, maintained, and improved in order to remain seaworthy. Another reason: Work fills the otherwise endless hours of bobbing about on the water while confined in a small space. With the crew worn out by the evening meal, a good captain allows his seamen to enjoy the sunset (unless they are on watch).

The science about the delight of a red sunset is that the sun’s rays bounce off dust high in the atmosphere, which means that a high pressure system (calm air) may rock seamen to sleep in their hammocks. Jesus commented on the setting sun. Web search Matthew 16: 2-3.

I have seen a painting that depicts the “Last Supper,” in which Jesus celebrated the first day of the Jewish holiday of Passover with his 12 disciples in the city of Jerusalem. Several disciples who shared that final meal with him recorded what they saw and what he said. The painting shows windows in the second floor room, but I find no description of Jesus watching the sunset as he dined with his disciples and told them shocking things about the near future.

The Sundowner would agree that it should be there, for the setting sun signaled the setting of the mortal life of the son of God. Jesus shared bread and wine with those who had followed him in his ministry, and he linked (gave context) to his pending sacrifice to the food so that they would remember what he had taught them as they began their own ministries in the days ahead. There would be no Christian religion and Jesus’ sacrifice would have been in vain for all of us if the surviving 11 disciples had not remembered the context of what they were taught and led the creation of the Christian Church. Jesus, as a mortal, went out like sundown at his crucifixion. Then, three days later, he defeated death to rise and receive from God all authority over Heaven and Earth. Web search Matthew 28: 1-20.

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