The Day Which Knows No Evening


On that day there shall be neither cold nor frost. And there shall be continuous day (it is known to the LORD), not day and not night, for at evening time there shall be light. (Zechariah 14:6-7)

Glory to You for the pledge of reawakening on the glorious day, that day which has no evening. (From the Akathist, GLORY TO GOD FOR ALL THINGS)


The Prophet Zechariah claims that the time will come when there would no longer be night and day – a shift from light to darkness in the course of 24 hours. Rather, the night/darkness – which was made by God (Psalm 104:20; Isaiah 45:7; see also Psalm 139:12) and so is part of creation – will cease to exist. The end of time and the establishment of God’s Kingdom means there will only be continual day/light for everyone (see the passages from the book of Revelation below). In that Kingdom, we will no longer depend on the sun for light, for the Light guiding us will be God Himself, shining with the uncreated light that know no evening. This gives us a sense that whatever that Kingdom will be, it will not be entail the earth eternally turning on its axis and orbiting the sun – this world will pass away and the Kingdom will be part of a new creation. We also will not experience time as we do here on earth in this life.  We will be seeing with the eyes of our hearts and not relying on visible light to see. Orthodox theologian Olivier Clement writes:


By his resurrection in the heart of darkness Christ has changed the meaning of night. Night has become the container of a new light that knows no setting, of a luminous life freed from death. That is why ‘now that we have come to the setting of the sun and behold the light of evening’ we ‘praise thee and voices of song’ (The ancient hymn ‘O Gladsome Light,’ sung at Vespers). Physical night becomes as it were the sacrament of the nuptial night, when the Bridegroom, already secretly present amidst the darkness, drives it away so that we are face to face with perfect joy. The Christian cannot for this reason sleep like the others in the unconsciousness of death or in the nightmare of passion. He holds vigil and his vigil is eschatological. ‘Behold, the Bridegroom comes in the middle of the night and happy the man who will be found waiting.’ (Services of Holy Week, Bridegroom Matins). And even when he closes his eyes he prays that his heart will remain vigilant:


“Let my sleep be always filled with your presence.

Even when separated from the body

the spirit hymns you, O God’ (St Gregory Nazianzus). (TRANSFIGURING TIME, p 90)


The sun shall be no more your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you by night; but the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun shall no more go down, nor your moon withdraw itself; for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your days of mourning shall be ended. (Isaiah 60:19-20)


And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light shall the nations walk; and the kings of the earth shall bring their glory into it, and its gates shall never be shut by day—and there shall be no night there…  And night shall be no more; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they shall reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 21:23-24 … 22:5)