Great Eclipse, Great Grace

Where were you on Eclipse Day?

Were you outside wearing eclipse glasses? Did you travel to Nashville, Tennessee or to the South Carolina shore to catch the total eclipse of the sun?  Did you go about your day like it was any other?  Or, did you stay inside and watch it on television?

I watched it on television.

One channel explained that a total solar eclipse is rare event in the universe. The sun and the moon have to line in just the right orbits. If the moon is too near or too far from the earth, a total eclipse can’t occur. So, enjoy the show, he said. Each year, the moon moves a little bit away from the earth. In about a billion years, a total eclipse of the sun will be a thing of the past.

Another channel talked with folks in the crowd. I learned that an astronomy club had travelled all the way from Ireland, because they only had to travel 5,000 miles to see an eclipse in an easily accessible location.

Then, totality began.

The images were dazzling. The sight was amazing. People cheered. Others cried. It really looked great on our flat screen television, too. I couldn’t turn it off. I became an armchair eclipse chaser. I watched the eclipse happen in Wyoming, in Missouri, in Indiana, in Nashville, and twice in South Carolina. When the light dimmed over our area, I went outside without looking at the sun.

I wished I had thought to buy the glasses.

Two thoughts came to mind as I reflected on that day.

The first came out Psalm 19: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands… their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world… In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun… nothing is deprived of its warmth.” (Psalm 19:1-6, NIV)

The second came out of John 1: “What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” (John 1:3b-5, NSRV)

Together the two thoughts said that you and I live in a world that is good because God is good enough to order this world in a wise and wonderful way. Darkness falls. Bad things happen. The light still shines. Now, and in the end, God works everything around to forgive the failed, heal the broken, and raise the dead. Christ is the life of us all, and we find our life in Christ.