Seems like everyone stopped what they were doing to watch it. It had to be the meteorological event of the year! As the moon blocked the rays of the sun during Monday’s total eclipse, the air temperature cooled, everything became still, a few confused crickets were heard chirping and even my faithful dog had a puzzled expression as the shifting, crescent shaped shadows filtered through the trees surrounding our home.
And as I stood there I was reminded of Genesis 1: 14… “And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good.”
How interesting! Every day since the dawn of creation, the earth has made its daily rotation around the sun. And, every day the moon has made its faithful rotation around the earth. Most of the time we don’t give much thought to them. But these two heavenly bodies are not alike at all.
While they appear to be the same size, the sun’s diameter is about 400 times greater than the moon, and it’s about 400 times farther away. The sun is considered a star with an internal core of energy believed to reach 27,000 million degrees. (Of course, we have no empirical evidence to support this. The sun tends to incinerate anything that gets too close to it.) The surface temperature of the sun is around 9,900 degrees. And, as our planet turns on its own 24-hour cycle, the earth’s surface is warmed by the sun’s rays during the day and cooled at night. How awesome it is that God has made the sun!
The moon, however, is not a star. It has no internal power or energy. It is just a rock, covered with dust and craters. It has no atmosphere. And performs no real function, although, the Apollo astronauts did discover that with the moon’s weak gravity, we would only weigh about a 6th of our weight on earth. (Personally, I see that as a positive.)
Anyway, here is my point: Doesn’t it seem strange that every once in a while, we human beings alter our daily routines and create funny eye protectors out of cardboard boxes, just so we can turn our eyes toward the heavens and watch a giant, dead rock get in the way of the sun’s power and light for a few moments?
Now, while you are pondering that profound thought, here is another one:
Day after day, the light of the “Son” illuminates our lives. Jesus Christ does so through His creative power and through the Word of God. Colossians 1:15-18 reads,
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
Jesus is the awesome, life-giving, powerful “Light of the World” and just like this old planet would be in a world of hurt if something every happened to the sun, so our lives will be meaningless and we are lost, without the life-giving, life sustaining power of the Light of God’s Son.
And just like the moon that has no light of its own, but can only “shine” in the darkness with the brightness of “reflected” light from the sun, so we Christians can only “shine” when we become reflections of Christ Jesus in our daily lives. The Apostle Paul reminds us…
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:17–18)
And by the way, we don’t want to be like the moon, which every so often, blocks out the light of the sun. As believers, our task is to never obscure the person and work of Jesus by our lifestyle, behavior or words. Rather, we are called to remember that…
It is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life. (Philippians 2:13-16)
The next solar eclipse will cross Mexico, the US and Canada in just 7 years. Let’s not wait until then, to let the reflected light of our Lord “shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
Rick Amerine is the senior pastor at Maple Grove Christian Church.