A reflection from the Revd David Rogers-Smith on this morning’s eclipse of the sun:
Today our world witnessed and celebrated a remarkable astronomical event: For around two minutes the moon passed in front of and totally eclipsed the sun and plunged north Queensland into an eerie darkness. The sun is 400 times larger than the moon, but the moon is 400 times closer to the earth than the sun. Therefore when the moon passes in front of the sun as it did today, it appears to us to be the same size as the sun and so ‘covers’ it completely.
As I watched this happening I felt two different emotions: amazement at such an unlikely spectacle and sadness. My sadness is often with me but had particular focus during this event. Why? Because in it I saw a powerful metaphor for what our Western world is doing. We are in the process of totally eclipsing the Son (Jesus) and plunging our part of the world into spiritual darkness and madness. Our ‘moon’ is secularism and atheism; puny by comparison with the Son of God, but strangely effective in covering over his glory and blocking his light – albeit in appearance and not in reality and hopefully for just a short time.
It is amazing that we would do such a thing and it is deeply sad and sinful. Jesus the Son is the source and giver of light and life and glory. Without him our world would die. Without him we personally would die eternally.
But praise be to God the sun continues to shine on the world today. God’s people remain in right standing with God today. The Kingdom of light yet progresses around the world today, driving away the darkness and shadows of unbelief.
‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life’ (John 8:12).
‘In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world’ (John 16:33).
[The Son] is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power’ (Heb 1:3).
‘In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength’ (Rev 1:16).
‘For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ’ (2 Cor 4:6).
‘Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear’ (Mt 13:43).