“The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day.” Acts 2:20
Dear Redeemer Family:
I thought that the above text from Acts, where Peter is actually quoting the Prophet Joel’s prophecy in his Pentecost Day sermon, was appropriate for this month.
On the 21st of this month we will be having what the news is calling, “The Great American Eclipse.” I find that a little odd. Eclipses happen all of the time, although most of them occur over the oceans. So, most people don’t get to view them. And although this one is covering virtually the length of our nation, from Oregon to the Carolinas, it is hard to call it the “American Eclipse” because we didn’t do anything to cause it. It is just taking place over our territory. Do we not hold biblically that it is “God who put the heavenly bodies in the sky, and set them in their courses.” Maybe we should call it “God’s Great Eclipse,” or “The Divine Eclipse;” just pondering on this one a bit.
The eclipse is anticipated to be a huge event. Estimates, as of this writing, are that there may be over one million extra people coming to the State of Missouri to visit it, with an estimated 379,000 (as of last week) in Jefferson County, and up to 50,000 extra viewers in De Soto alone. This, of course, presents a number of logistical problems for we who are residents. I am telling people to buy all of their groceries and other supplies (this is now including gasoline) about four or five days ahead of the eclipse. I anticipate lots of shortages locally with all of these people here.
On the other hand, this should be a magnificent occurrence. I have never seen a total solar eclipse. I have seen partials. And I have seen total lunar eclipses (“the moon turning to blood” in the above text is true). I have been told by some that if you don’t believe in God, witnessing a solar eclipse changes your mind. It is a display full of grandeur. Let us hope that it is a clear day.
But St. Peter, and the Prophet Joel before him, is speaking of “The Lord’s great and glorious day.” This can be interpreted several ways; the birth of Christ, or the Resurrection of Christ, or the Crucifixion is another possible. If we go with the birth of Christ, the only witnesses to the Incarnation, besides Jesus’ parents, were some shepherds; and some wise men who got there much later. The Resurrection is another possible “great and glorious day” of the Lord. But, there weren’t many witnesses of that day either; Mary Magdalene, Peter, and the other disciples. However, when we look at the texts for the Crucifixion, we are told, “It was about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, while the sun’s light failed” (Luke’s account). Doesn’t that describe a solar eclipse? It was there, on the cross, that “The Lord’s great and glorious day” took place. Surrounded by two outlaws, some Roman soldiers, his mother, Mary Magdalene, St. John, and some other lookers on, Jesus died for the sins of the world. Let us also remember that on August 21st at about 1pm.
In Christ, Pastor Rose