It captured the nation’s attention in an absolutely positive way like nothing I’ve seen or heard about in a long time. News organizations sent reporters to a variety of places to make sure the event was properly covered. All of them went live as the event began to unfold. People of all kinds found themselves coming together to observe and to celebrate. The anticipation was electric. Those who planned for it did so with great expectation. It was a national event and it seems everyone in the country, to greater and lesser degrees, became participants. I’m talking, of course, about the solar eclipse.
On Monday, August 21st, the country paused to look skyward to see the moon make its way between the earth and the sun creating a solar eclipse. I remember on the Sunday before this great event hearing people before and after worship talking about who had gotten the special glasses and who were looking for the special glasses and where they were planning to go and see this great thing. Some were driving several hours in order to be in that treasured pathway that would be marked by a total eclipse.
After it was all over, especially in those places where people were able to see the total eclipse, it was interesting to hear news reporters gathering reactions. I heard people use superlatives that ranged from “awesome” to “life changing.” Don’t get me wrong, I thought it was a very cool thing to experience and granted we were only in the 94 percent or so range of eclipse…but “life changing?” Really? You looked at the sun through some special glasses. The moon began to move in front of the sun until you could only see a halo of light around the edges of the moon and now, somehow, your life has been changed?
I wonder what Tuesday was like for those people making such a claim. How was life different? Did they get up and go to work or school as they had done days prior? Did their priorities suddenly shift causing them to commit themselves to some noble cause for the rest of their lives? As cool as it was to observe, I don’t really believe a solar eclipse has what it takes to bring about that kind of radical change in a person’s life. Staring at the sun, even during an eclipse, doesn’t have life changing capability.
There is, however, a SON who does have that kind of life changing power. He, in fact, has the power to transform the darkness of our wayward lives to the light and peace of God’s presence and purpose. It is in looking to the SON, Jesus Christ, that we find life abundant and eternal. Only this SON is able to make the old things of life pass away and all things become new.
John writes, “In him was life, and that life was the light of all humankind. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.” (Jn. 1:4-5)
God has provided the special lenses through which we can see the Son in all his glory. Those lenses are called grace and faith and they are in ample supply. The good news is that we have all been invited to the viewing party and looking into this SON really is life changing.
Together with You in serving the Son,