Today there will be a solar eclipse. Several cities in America will experience total darkness in the middle of the day. The last time this occurred in the United States was 38 years ago on February 26, 1979. But the next time it will happen will be in 7 years, April 8, 2024. Living in Michigan, I will only experience a partial eclipse.
There have been many warnings about today’s event. Some are warning about taking precautions when viewing the eclipse. It can be dangerous to your eyes. Some are even warning us that this solar eclipse could be a sign from God about the end of time. I don’t take that one very serious.
But I thought of a warning we can all learn about from today’s eclipse. Just as the moon will hide the sun from many people, Christians can hide Jesus from those around them. Let me explain…
The Christian and the Sun and Moon.
The Bible describes the creation of the sun and moon in Genesis 1:14-19. God created the sun to be a great light during the day. But He created a ‘lesser light’ to shine in the night. These two great lights can teach us a lesson about our impact to our world.
Jesus proclaimed, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (John 9:5). Jesus compares Himself to our sun. Without the sun we would have no life on earth. Jesus gives life.
But in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus also tells His disciples, “Ye are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). Just like the moon, we become the light in Jesus’ absence. When the sun goes down, the moon comes up. Now that Jesus is in Heaven, we become the ‘light of the world.’
I have discovered a few similarities between the follower of Jesus and the moon:
- Both have no light of their own. The moon does not really shine. And Christians do not have good works on their own. It is only through Jesus.
- Both reflect the brightness of the Light. The moon is a really big mirror of the sun. What we see at night is simply a reflection of the sun. Christians are to be reflectors of Jesus. Our goal is for others to see Jesus shining through us.
- Both are lesser lights. No matter how bright the moon is, when the sun comes up it disappears. The sun is much brighter than the moon. No matter how many good things the Christian does, Jesus should ultimately get all the glory. As John the Baptist once said, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).
- Both are lights for the night. The moon was created to lighten the night. Without the moon, night would be even darker. We live in a dark, sinful world. The Christian is to be a light in the dark so people can find their way.
- Both are dead. Nothing grows on the moon. It’s a dead planet. Before Jesus and without Jesus, there is no life. We were ‘dead in our trespasses and sins’ (Ephesians 2:1).
- Both still bear craters of past catastrophes. When we look up at the moon we can almost see a man’s face – the man in the moon. This is because the moon has giant craters made from meteors that hit it years ago. Though forgiven, Christians still bear the marks and stains of sin. Hopefully Christians are getting better, but we still sin. We need to constantly confess and forsake our sin. Not until we get to Heaven will we be free from the presence, power and pull of sin.
The Christian and the Eclipse
So from all of this, there is a lesson that is dramatized during a solar eclipse. As the moon passes between the world and the sun, the sun disappears. The sun is no longer visible to people when the moon gets in the way. Our moon hides the sun from our view.
Similarly, Christians can block people from seeing Jesus. When a Christian gets between Jesus and those Jesus wants to love, Jesus is hidden. One of the criticisms of the church is it is full of hypocrites. While Christians try to excuse this accusation, the truth is that many people cannot see Jesus because of the behavior of His children. The warning for every Christian is to let Jesus shine. Don’t get in His way.
If you are a Christian, I hope you will not cast a shadow before your friends so they can’t see Jesus. I hope your goal is to allow people to see Jesus reflected in your words, actions and attitudes.
If you are not a Christian, I am sorry that those of us who follow Jesus are not a perfect reflection of who He is. But I hope that you can see that He is the real Light of the World. Turn to Him and He will lighten your path.