There is so much excitement here in my little town of Travelers Rest, as we will be in the direct path
of the total eclipse coming up on Monday, August 21. It's going to be a monumental, and historical day. I've never seen a total eclipse and honestly, I think it's pretty amazing that it is coming (literally) directly to my front door in SC!
As I've thought about the eclipse and have read what to expect, I must admit a little anxiety has crept in. Just a little. I mean, it's weird. It will assault my senses and confuse my "normal" for a few minutes. Darkness in the middle of the day - and plunging temperatures almost immediately (we can drop 10-20 degrees in seconds) are kinda freaky sounding to me. Birds go quiet - dogs go crazy. I guess you could say I'm fascinated, but a little freaked out.
Light is so comforting. It's warm. It's inviting, it allows things to grow - to flourish. It is revealing (hello, fitting room lights) and it's also a bit un-nerving if you are in a dark room and someone flicks on the LED light. But the light will be gone. And as excited as we all are (and I know we are!) about experiencing this phenomenon, I really think it's going to be alarming in some ways.
I wonder if an eclipse could be a tool that God uses to reveal to our hearts what the world would be like without the sun. Or perhaps The Son? Even for a few seconds. On the day of the crucifixion, the sun went dark for three whole hours! Can you imagine?
As you read the account of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in Luke 23:44, the Bible says, "By this time it was about noon and darkness fell across the whole land until three o'clock. the light from the sun was gone. And suddenly, the curtain in the sanctuary was torn down the middle. The Jesus shouted, "Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!" And with those words He breathed His last."
Science claims it was not an eclipse (based on the calendar & the moon), but the Greek word that Luke used when He wrote this scripture was Eklipontos - a participle of the verb ekleipō - which means “fail/leave off/cease.” Whether it was an eclipse or not, it was definitely a Divine Darkness God sent to reveal to the world that in killing His Son, they would lose it's Light. Darkness would ensue. After all, Jesus said, "I am the Light of the world. If you follow me, you won't have to walk in darkness, because you will have the Light that leads to life." John 9:5, He said, "While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world."
Jesus also claimed in John 3:19-21 says, "God's Light came into the world, but people loved darkness more than the Light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the Light and refuse to go near it for fear that their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the Light so others can see that they are doing what God wants."
Let's be honest here. We are pushing the Son out of our world. We hate the Light because it exposes us and reveals our true hearts. Every day we read how we are pushing God out of our schools, our families, our governments and even our churches, folks. If we lose our Light, we will live in complete darkness. How can we not see this? Has the darkness appealed more to us than the Light? Do we realize what we are choosing? God is not going to force Himself on a country or a world (or a heart) that doesn't invite Him in. CS Lewis said it best: “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, in the end, "Thy will be done."
I am going to spend some time while enveloped in the darkness of the eclipse thanking God for the Light of Jesus that He willingly sent to this dark, cold world. Hope. Forgiveness. Redemption. The Light that gives us sight and offers light and love to every heart who will invite Him!
And even for a few minutes or seconds, when the world is dark and cold, may we all be reminded that "Once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true." (Ephesians 5:8-9)