It’s an Eclipse. What’s all the fuss about?

Everyone around my state is getting ready for tomorrow, the “Great American Eclipse.” (Newsletter subscribers may see it today.) There’s extra law enforcement being brought in and special evacuation procedures put in place to get everyone home safely after the eclipse is over.

My elderly mom wonders what the fuss is all about. Most people only see a total eclipse once or perhaps twice in their lifetime. Why should Christians care about seeing an eclipse? Consider this:

  • Some historians believe the time of Jesus’ death was during an eclipse in 33 A.D. based on the following verse,

It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun’s light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.” Luke 23:44 – 45, ESV

  • The creation of an eclipse, the lineup of Earth, the moon, and the sun so that the moon is the exact size of the sun, only happens on our planet. Nowhere else in the Universe can you see a total eclipse.
  • The last time a total eclipse began and ended within the United States was 1918, ninety-nine years ago.
  • The eclipse is a creation of God. We’re to be in awe and wonder of His works. 
  • There are some so deeply affected by the event that they become eclipse-chasers, flying all over the world to see the wonder of that fiery ring in the sky. Not just for the rich, a few are blue-collar workers who save all year to take a chance to experience one again.

The Eclipse Effect

“Awe-inspiring.” “A moment you’ll never forget.” “Incredible,” “Terrifying.” “Like the birth of a universe.”

Can you imagine a time before the Internet, perhaps working in the fields during an eclipse? Birds roost or fly around in confused loops as the sky darkens. Everything stills as the blackness descends. The temperature drops. The wind begins to blow, perhaps even a storm gathers. The stars and planets are visible above clear skies.  You wonder if the Sun will ever appear again.

American Solar Eclipse from Mount Santa Lucia by Carleton Watkins, 1889

American Solar Eclipse from Mount Santa Lucia by Carleton Watkins, 1889, part of the Google Images Project, Getty Museum

Now, imagine the scene above, but you’re in the middle of hand-to-hand combat, fighting for your life, your love, and your land.  As the light begins to dim, you wonder how long you’ve been fighting. Darkness covers the killing field. The fighting slows, then stops. Everyone looks up at the ring of fire as silence covers the land.

In 585 B.C, two city-states fought for control of their corner of Middle East. According to some sources, they’d been fighting for fifteen years, unable to implement a ceasefire because neither side would give up their land.

However, the historian Herodotus reported that the eclipse terrified them so that both sides asked for peace.

But bad things followed the dimming sun, too. 

In 1133 A.D., King Henry I, son of William the Conqueror and ruler of  England, sailed to France the day of an eclipse, in spite of his subjects’ misgiving about the voyage. Sure enough, he died the next day.  The forward-thinking royal had named his daughter as his heir, but England wasn’t ready for a female monarch at that time. Instead, he was survived by his nephew, Stephen of Blois and the country was thrown into a horrible time of civil war known as, The Anarchy.

Becoming Whole Again

It’s said that those who have seen a total eclipse wonder if the sun will ever shine brightly again. We live in the country, far away from the city lights, however, there is a chance for cloudy skies. If it’s clear, we’ll be in our front yard or perhaps in the tower room, watching the sky dim and the stars come out.

Either way, I’ll remember that this day, like any, is controlled by God. 

How are you getting ready for the #2017eclipse? #solareclipse Click To Tweet

Are you in the dark ribbon that will stretch across the United States? What are your plans for tomorrow?

Public DomainFile:Carleton Watkins (American – Solar Eclipse from Mount Santa Lucia – Google Art Project.jpg. 
Post header image courtesy of Pixabay.