Eclipsed

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Last Thursday’s total eclipse of the moon was dramatic.  Some astronomers called it the best lunar eclipse in fifteen years.  The cloudless sky made for easy viewing.  The moon was extraordinarily bright and lit up the evening sky.  It was so bright it even cast shadows.  It was impressive to watch the brightly-lit full moon disappear and then reappear later.  A lunar eclipse occurs when the full moon passes through the shadow of the earth.  As it emerges it is soon shining full again.

 

Whenever I see an eclipse it reminds me of a spiritual truth.  As Christians, we are like the moon.  You see the reason the moon goes dark when it passes through the shadow of the earth is that it has no light of its own.  It merely reflects the light of the sun.  When the world gets in the way, the light that it had is gone. 

 

As Christians, you and I have no light of our own.  We merely reflect the light of the Son.    Jesus said, Let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.  (Mat. 5:16)  Our good deeds should shine in such a way that they bring glory to God, not to ourselves. 

 

Paul told the Philippians to “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life…” (Phil.2:14-15)   We are to be lights in this dark world. 

 

As long as there is nothing between the Lord and us, we shine brightly in this dark world.  But like the moon, when the world gets in the way, the light we have is gone.  Sometimes it is sin that eclipses us.  At other times the cares of this world just mount up and we find ourselves being so busy taking care of life’s urgencies that we neglect to take time for the important things like prayer and Bible study.  We can drift along without realizing it until we find ourselves in the dark, spiritually powerless and ineffective.  We are eclipsed.

 

When that happens it is important to get moving.  Put yourself back in the light of the Lord.  Get back into worship—both private and public.  Get back into the Word—both personal Bible study and Sunday School.  Get back into prayer.  God is up to something in the world and you need to be a part of it.  If you find yourself eclipsed don’t be a victim.  Take responsibility for putting yourself in a position where the Son can shine on you.  Perhaps James said it best: “Come near to God and he will come near to you.” (James 4:8)

 

 It is a mark of spiritual maturity to take responsibility for your own spirituality.  Paul said to Timothy, “I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you…” (2 Tim. 1:6).  If you are a child of God you have a spiritual gift within.  Fan it into flame until it shines brightly.  Someone in the dark needs to see your light.