If you were completely unaware of the total eclipse that happened Tuesday, then you probably aren’t receiving this email – let’s just assume that all of you were fully aware of what happened this week! Evidently the moon, a relatively small planetary object, completely obscured the light of the largest body in our solar system. How is it that something so small can completely obscure our sight of the sun?
I am old enough and lucky enough to have experienced a few solar eclipses, but this was the first time that I made the effort to go to the “total eclipse zone.” We drove the 10-hour roundtrip through traffic to Wyoming where we experienced the effect of being in darkness in the 5th hour of the day – albeit for 1 minute. I suggest that you go out of your way to experience this at least once in your lifetime.
Proximity affects our perception of reality. The moon is not as big as the sun, nor is it as important to life on our planet.
We all remember learning that the moon reflects the light of the sun back to us and it is the sun that gives the moon its brilliant appearance – even when the sun is on the other side of the earth from us. The moon revolves around the earth at the same exact speed as it rotates on its own axis so that we only see one side of the moon. And, there is no “dark side of the moon.” The moon gives off no light of its own, it is really the giant “mirror-ball” in the sky that reflects the light of the sun. Is this why we dance in the light of the moon?
I believe that the church is to be the refraction of the Son. Similarly, we reflect His truth and make people aware of His glory and light. But, does the church ever get in the way of the glory of God? Do we cause eclipses with our agendas, programs, and hypocrisy?
It is so easy to become consumed with our own journey and lives, that we forget that our primary purpose is to reflect His light. It is in these moments that we come between the Son and the world – even though it may be unintentional. Thanks be to God, He still finds a way to display His glory in spite of us being in the way, just like a solar eclipse. How could something as small as a church get in the way of the glory of God?
Our proximity to the people around us affords us the opportunity to shine brightly the glory of the Son into their lives. But, our proximity also can get in the way of the Son’s light because we find new ways to become more of an obstruction to the light of the gospel. Those who know me best see all the ways that I don’t reflect the light of the Son very well. But, hopefully those same people see the brilliancy of the Son in me as well.
I hope that we as a church serve as a reflection of the Son rather than an obstruction to His light. I am incredibly grateful for His sovereignty and overpowering light that even shines around us in such a way that He still gets the glory. I hope that we are close enough to the city to reflect His light effectively without obstructing the Son. But, my greatest hope is that we don’t hinder the Light shining into the darkness. What if we became translucent enough that His light began to refract through us rather than having to reflect off us? How would that change the way we live and interact with those in close proximity to us?