If you have see nature documentaries, you probably are aware that one of the remarkable things about land, sky and sea is the presence of living animals. Vast herds of cattle, flocks of thousands of birds, seas filled with schools of fish and pods of whales all give life and motion to nature. At the beginning of the fourth day of creation we can picture a world with no flock of flamingos in the wetlands, no herd of bison on the plains, no pod of whales breaching the waves. Not only are the land, seas and skies empty of life, but there are no stars, sun or moon in the sky—just an unbroken light or darkness.
If we were looking at the story of creation as literally as we would a science text-book, we would have a problem with day and night and plants growing without the sun or stars having been created. But we are looking at a deeper message. We have been looking at the days of creation as steps in a process of creating a whole new world of love. The first step is to see the light—to see the possibilities for growth and to gain a vision of the kind of relationship you desire. The second step is to learn about the Lord's love for you, learn how to love others, and learn your partner's needs and sensitivities. The third step is to act on what you know—to bear fruit by "doing for each other every good."
Now with the fourth step we see an inner shift in attitude, an increase in passion in the relationship. The first three days of creation include the making of heaven, earth, sky sea and land with plants of all kinds, but so far there are no living animals. The land, sea and skies are empty of life. Even the heavens lack the fire of sun, moon and stars. With the next three days we see these empty places are populated, filled with life. The sun, moon and stars wheel through the heavens, fish swim in the sea, birds flock in the sky, animals and people inhabit the land.
|1||Day/Night||>> filled with >>||4||Sun/Moon & Stars|
|2||Sea/Sky||>> filled with >>||5||Fish/Birds|
|3||Land/Plants||>> filled with >>||6||Animals/People|
The more deeply we gaze into space the more beautiful and vast the heavens become to us. Hundreds of millions of stars in hundreds of millions of galaxies drift in swirls of color. What a change to go from empty space to such spirals and clusters of stars, stardust and planets! Yet this is a symbol of the change within us as we open ourselves to the Lord’s love.
We are all born with deeper levels of our minds that are unused at first. These higher levels of consciousness are opened up when we turn to the Lord and keep His commandments. Then the Lord opens in our inner minds and lights a fire of love in our hearts. It’s as if the heavens which had been empty and cold are lit up with the light of a million fires.
Often the beginning of a process or project has an artificial or mechanical aspect to it, and real feeling comes later. For example, a pianist learning a new song may at first concentrate on getting the right notes and perfecting the technique, going over the piece mechanically, laboriously. Eventually, the difficult passages become easier and the sequence of notes becomes embedded in muscle-memory. Then the pianist is free to focus on the feeling of the music, the artistry and expression.
Something similar happens when learning to express love to your partner. Many times when we introduce "Appreciations" to couples learning marriage skills, they find it difficult and awkward to spend 5 minutes telling their partners things they appreciate about them. Other skills, such as apologizing or starting every conversation positively, can also seem mechanical or artificial at first, but in time they become easy, even de-lightful, and this sets the stage for a renewed feeling of love to come flooding in.
Jesus did not look different from any other person. People who did not already know Him could not pick Him out of a crowd. His followers knew Him, of course, but they were not always sure who He was, and tended to think of Him as just another person like themselves. Then one day He took the disciples closest to Him, James, John and Peter, up a mountain where He was transfigured and His face began to shine like the sun. Jesus was uniting His Human self with the infinite fire of Divine Love that was His soul, "the Father." This was a change not only for Jesus, but for His disciples, who began to see the Divinity in Him more clearly.
In the beginning of marriage we tend to love our partners partly for selfish reasons, because of what they do for us or what we expect them to do for us. We tend to love them they our own way even if our partner expresses and feels love a different way. Our love tends to be conditional—it fades when our partner doesn't live up to our expectations, or we feel resentful when our partner doesn't seem to love us as much as we wish. It is vital that we change ourselves—make ourselves better partners—by learning all we can (waters above and below) and by making every effort to be loving (bearing fruit). But ultimately, our own efforts will fall short as long as we are focused on our own expectations and what we can get from the relationship. We need a different kind of love—unconditional, forgiving. It is not a love that we can get on our own. We have to go to the source—to the One who is Infinite Divine Love, Mercy and Forgiveness. Only when we turn to Him and seek His forgiveness and compassion can we truly give that kind of love to our spouses.
The new spark of love that brings the marriage alive on a deeper level has to come from within. It isn’t the result of changing the outward parts of your life—getting a new job, different friends, a better house, more free time. It comes from a decision to be loving that we make in our hearts—a choice known only to the Lord yet one that guides our days and nights into the future. The sun and moon are the love and trust that the Lord puts in our “heavens”—in our inner self. The sun that rules by day is the love the Lord gives us that we then pass on. The moon that rules by night is the trust and faith that get us through the hard times.
The sun shall no longer be your light by day,
Nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you;
But the LORD will be to you an everlasting light,
And your God your glory.
Your sun shall no longer go down,
Nor shall your moon withdraw itself;
For the LORD will be your everlasting light,
And the days of your mourning shall be ended.
Our task for this day of creation is to go to the Lord Jesus Christ as ask for true married love. Thank Him for the ways He has led you and blessed you until now and let His love for you rule you by day and your faith in Him rule you by night. Seek forgiveness, compassion and unconditional love from Him so that you can begin to give that kind of love to your partner.