Immediately after the suffering of those days the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.
Do you remember being given specific instructions to view a solar eclipse safely. We were told not to look directly at the sun because doing so could cause permanent blindness. I remember being so scared that I did not even want to view the eclipse. There was a safe way to view and I am glad I saw it because it was spectacular! The light of the sun was very intense.
In our scripture lesson instead of incredible brightness, Matthew writes of total darkness that will accompany the end of the age. The sun will be darkened and there will be no moonglow. Finally, the stars will fall from the sky. The Son of Man will appear in the heaven and all the tribes of the earth will mourn. Immediately that darkness will be dispelled as the Son of Man comes on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And what a morning that will be!
This text was appropriated by African Americans and the spiritual that evolved from it was My Lord! What a Morning. My introduction to that hymn was in the form of an anthem at Rock Spring Presbyterian Church in Atlanta when I served as a seminary intern. My mentor, supervising pastor, and fellow tenor Dick Ribble also sang with the chancel choir.
My Lord! what a morning; my Lord! what a morning; O my Lord! what a morning when the stars begin to fall. You will hear the trumpet sound to wake the nations under ground, looking to my God’s right hand, when the stars begin to fall.
My Lord! what a morning; my Lord what a morning; O my Lord! what a morning when the stars begin to fall. You will hear the sinner cry to wake the nations underground looking to my God’s right hand when the stars begin to fall
My Lord! what a morning; my Lord, what a morning, O my Lord! what a morning, when the stars begin to fall.
O God, what a morning that will be when Jesus returns in power and great glory. Let us be ready to welcome Him and to join the throng that then and forevermore will sing Your praises. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.