My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast. I will sing and make melody. Awake, my soul! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn. I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. For your steadfast love is as high as the heavens; your faithfulness extends to the clouds. (Psalm 57:7-10 NRSV)
Mornings hold a special magic. They can set the mood for the entire day, or dispel gloom of night and the folly of yesterday. Our late summer days add extra delight to the moments between the first light and humid heat of the sun. Those moments are so much cooler than the hours to come will be!
Early morning is a time for prayer. Christian, Jewish, and Islamic traditions all include prayer between the first light and the rising of the sun. Besides, it’s quiet. Especially if only one person in the household or on the block is awake, there’s a cherished quality to the quiet. Dawn may be the preferred moment of prayer for almost everyone. It can be the moment when each one finds a quiet conversation with God about the day ahead.
Certainly, the dawn found the Psalmist at prayer. Other times as well, of course; but read how the Psalmist greets the morning! “Awake, my soul,” he sings. There’s nothing quiet about this song. The harp and lyre are involved. Though he doesn’t mention cymbals as he does in Psalm 150, morning is a time for the joyful noise that the Psalmist loves.
Just once as an experiment, if it isn’t your practice, make a joyful noise in the dawn. It may not include a harp or lyre. Or any instrument if the available choices include amps and speakers. Always, there’s voice. Sing a morning prayer. Thanks be to God for the day ahead, for the light of the sun and the cool, of the departing nighttime. Thanks be to God for the people we love and may see today; for the people we see and learn to love today. Thanks be to God for the day ahead, for whatever it might hold, and for Christ’s presence with us through it all, good or bad.
And thanks for the voice to sing thanksgiving and praise.
Father Frank Fuller