A friend of mine was telling me a while ago about the sacraments: The obvious ones are the communion, the many sacrifices outlined in the latter half of Exodus. There are also less obvious ones, he said, such as the rainbow: It is a weapon of war (wrath) that is strangely pointed toward its wielder, prophetic of God’s atoning self sacrifice.
At that moment I was convinced, but less so now. Still, it was interesting. How about the sun?
Matthew 5:45 has always been one of my favourite verses in the NT, it stands out for the majesty of its structure as well as its subject: “He causes his sun to rise on the righteous as well as the wicked.” Also the sun of righteousness rising in Malachi 4:2 with healing in its wings – just awesome.
Now for something completely non-canon, half-baked but slightly workable: The sun also has an almost sacramental dimension to it. It is something unattainable, near-divine. It gives life, warmth, guidance, goodness.
Yet it is fundamentally separate from us. And all men lose sight of it at some point. And when they do – and it is interesting to note that it is still there, but only unseen by men – they attempt to create their artificial means of guidance, warmth and goodness. The sun’s apparent absence is marked by confusion, fear, and for many, the commission of sin.
But life can only truly come from the sun (more or less, I know artificial UV is effective – just…ok?). Men who love the sun eagerly wait for it come back, remaining in a state that is dead to the world while the sun is unseen.
Non-canon for sure. And wholly inadequate for illustrating Christ’s incarnation and breathtaking rescue of man. But worth a thought?