I think all of us have had the thrill of watching a magnificent sunset and watching the beautiful colors change as the minutes passed by. Sunsets are one of God's most spectacular displays. And as they signal the end of the day they should remind us of our lives. For as we reach the sunset of our days here there is a more spectacular day coming when we will be at home with our Savior. This week's hymn should remind us of that truth. It was in the summer of 1936 that Horace Rodeheaver invited the faculty of the Rodeheaver School of Music to his home at Rainbow Point, Indiana. As the evening progressed, the sunset over the nearby Winona Lake was so incredible and it is said that the guests began to talk about its beauty. Eventually the talk died down and the group sat for a long time, silently soaking in the wonder. Horace Burr, who had been blind from birth, suddenly spoke out with excitement, saying that he had never seen such a beautiful sunset. One of the other guests asked how it was possible for him to see events of the sky. Horace's answered " I see through other people's eyes, and I think I often see more. I see beyond the sunset." Among those attending were lyricist Virgil Brock and his wife, composer Blanch Brock. Upon returning home, Virgil was inspired to write a hymn based upon the events of the evening. His wife joined him from the piano and Horace was there as well. When he heard the first three verses Horace reminded them of the storm clouds that had been hovering just above that evening's sunset, and suggested that be the theme of a fourth verse. Before the evening was over, Beyond the Sunset was ready for publication. As you reflect upon the words this week, be reminded of that day which is approaching, a day of gladness, a day unending, a day when toiling is ended and we are home with our blessed Savior. What a glorious hope. May each spectacular sunset that you view remind you of this truth.
(1) Beyond the sunset, O blissful morning,
When with our Savior heav'n is begun;
Earth's toiling ended, O glorious dawning -
Beyond the sunset when day is done.
(2) Beyond the sunset no clouds will gather,
No storms will threaten, no fears annoy;
O day of gladness, O day unending -
Beyond the sunset, eternal joy!
(3) Beyond the sunset a hand will guide me
To God the Father, whom I adore;
His glorious presence, His words of welcome,
Will be my portion on that fair shore.
(4) Beyond the sunset, O glad reunion
With our dear loved ones who've gone before;
In that fair homeland we'll know no parting -
Beyond the sunset forevermore!
You can listen to this week's hymn here. LISTEN