On Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will cross the entire country, coast-to-coast, for the first time since 1918. I set out in writing this to find some great quote that would incorporate the concept of eclipse, and instead found quotes about filming the twilight series movie, “Eclipse”, about teenage vampires and werewolves.
The fact that expectations didn’t meet reality is also why an eclipse is disturbing. You look up expecting to see the sun and it is blotted out. And since the sun isn’t doing what it is expected to do, then you lose trust in the natural order of things. If the sun isn’t behaving, maybe the tide will up and decide to simply stop, or maybe the rains will dry up. We knew it was coming, but for most of human history, an eclipse just came. It was ominous and foreboding.
It is pretty foreboding in the scriptures, too. Eclipse is associated with the blotting out of all sources of earth’s light, the sun, the moon, and the stars. It is always attached to the end of days. But not to worry! The scripture says this about the heavenly city that awaits us: “And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb”. (Revelation 21:23)
See, even in the midst of the unexpected, the ominous, the earth-shaking, we know the ending written by a faithful God. Frederick Buechner said, “Resurrection means the worst thing is never the last thing.” And he goes on to say, “The worst isn't the last thing about the world. It's the next to the last thing. The last thing is the best. It's the power from on high that comes down into the world, that wells up from the rock-bottom worst of the world like a hidden spring. Can you believe it? The last, best thing is the laughing deep in the hearts of the saints, sometimes our hearts even. Yes. You are terribly loved and forgiven. Yes. You are healed. All is well.”
So bring it on, eclipse. Bring. It. On.
For more of Buechner's wonderful work, consider
Rev. Jana Quisenberry is the minister at Brightwood Christian Church. She's an ordained pastor in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). A graduate of Transylvania University in Lexington, KY and Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, IN, She now resides in Mt. Lebanon with her husband, two children, and dog, Sookie. Pastor Jana loves the church, science fiction, and coffee.
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