The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs –
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1899)
The New Testament is, among other things, a collection of books about telling time. And when its authors tell us what time it is, that time is usually morning. So St John:
. . . the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining . . . (1 St John 2:8 ESV)
Likewise St Paul:
The night is far gone; the day is at hand. (Romans 13:12a ESV)
The time has implications for how we go about the business of life. Hence Paul follows his time-telling in Romans as follows: “So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:12b ESV).
So then, to the business of seeing the world! Here lingering shadows flee before advancing morning; here fallen splendors now walk redeemed. And over this bent “here,” the Holy Ghost broods “with warm breast and ah! bright wings.”