From the pastor’s desk... “The Eclipse”
“God- You have made the moon to mark the seasons, the sun knows its time for setting. Psalm 104:19
Dear friends in Christ,
Where you were on Monday, August 21, 2017 when an estimated 40 million people hit the pause button on their lives to look up? This was our opportunity to see something that had not happened in 100 years. It began in Oregon just after 12:15 Central time then moved across the entire United States and concluded just before 3 p.m. in South Carolina. We gazed through special glasses or a pin hole in a box that reflected on a piece of paper or risked a quick glance. Admission was free. You didn’t need a ticket. Hushed silence preceded gleeful giggles then goose flesh. Together we marveled as the light and shadows became opaque, breezes stopped, birds ceased singing, the temperature dropped. A local weather man stood among school children and became overwhelmed with his emotions. He had never seen this before. The heavens which had been blue were suddenly bespeckled with night time stars and planets. As you looked at the horizon it glowed like a sunrise or sunset. It was dark all around. Though not a religious man he said that it was like a religious experience. The heavens were telling the glory of God. Earth’s tiny moon that is 400 times smaller than the sun that lies 400 times farther away passed between the earth and the sun causing day light to surrender into dusk or total eclipse that lasted only 2 minutes and 43 seconds. And we were struck with awe and wonder. Like seeing the Rocky Mountains for the first time or leaping for joy outside the delivery room where your grandchild was born or marrying the person of your dreams so God our Creator shared another wonder of His magnificent handiwork. Awe changes and transports you to another place. Egos are humbled as we stand in the presence of true greatness and discover that we are just a very small part of a huge universe. We are drawn beyond our selves to see someone or something more. “Earth and all stars, loud rushing planets, sing to the Lord a new song!” writes poet Herb Brokering. Yes, sing with Joseph Haydn “the heavens are telling the glory of God!” Can you imagine the grandeur when God formed the universe? Do you remember God’s response to a fault finder and complaining Job and his cronies? “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Have you commanded the morning since your days began and caused the dawn to know its place?” God’s hands formed the universe. Later in amazing love for us in another eerie darkness his hands accepted the nails driven into his flesh by a Roman soldier as Jesus suffered on the cross. There he prayed for our forgiveness saying, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” Look up!
What if we invited all of America to look up to God more than every 100 years with us? We spend too much time looking down! What is on your complaining and bitter Job list? Every one has their personal copy? I am typing this Lightshine on the lap top computer Joan and I purchased to help broadcast the hymns at worship. My office computer was struck by lightening that blew right past the surge protector and toasted the mother board. You can add summer expenses and annoyances purchasing new tires for the car and the swimming pool pump, repairs to the vacuum cleaner and washing machine. The Japanese beetles devoured my roses, grapes and raspberries. There was a good dose
difficult people! Let’s put it away to look up and discover some of the “amazing” God packs into every day! Do you have grandchildren? Read of Judy Heller’s grandson Ryan celebrating a 23rd birthday in this Lightshine!
The psalmist invites us to look up. That is where our help is found. God is your shade on your right hand. He promises that the sun shall not strike you by day or the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all evil. He will keep your life. What is your heart saying, praying, believing? Let’s dream great things again!
On that Monday I was driving in the car and experienced most of the eclipse through the words, excitement and emotion of Joan. She used words like “wow” and “Oh, my goodness!” and “I couldn’t imagine this!” What if we chose to use these words each day? Let’s look up and get beyond ourselves to live in wonder and awe. Intentionally seek to give thanks for the beauty and wonder of God’s creation, God’s love. Let’s trust in his care and tender mercies rejoicing in God’s gift of life and the amazing people who share it. But then we could wait. Our next shot at a total solar eclipse in America is only 2,422 days away! Look up! God bless, P. Dave