I missed one of the most unique astronomical events of the year today through no fault of my own.
This morning, people in much of North America were privileged to witness the “Super Flower Blood Moon.” This was a lunar eclipse on a remarkable level.
By way of background: a lunar eclipse occurs when the earth blocks the light of the sun from the moon. A full eclipse occurs when the earth is exactly aligned between the moon and the sun so that the earth’s shadow fully eclipses the moon.
We have not witnessed a full eclipse since January 21, 2019. Today’s event was also a “super” moon because the moon was at its perigee, meaning that it was close to the earth on its orbit around our planet and thus appeared larger than normal. It was a “flower” moon because it occurred during springtime in North America at a time when flowers are blooming. And it was a “blood” moon because the optics of the event turned the moon red in color.
I have been anticipating this event for weeks. My schedule this morning included a radio interview at 6:30 a.m., so I drove to our office early so I could see the eclipse before the interview began.
However, I failed completely in my objective, for two reasons.
One: The skies over Dallas were so cloudy that they obscured the eclipse. We have seen clouds and rain for what feels like decades. A blanket of clouds covered the part of the world where I was seeking to see the eclipse, blocking it from my view.
Two: The building where we office was an obstruction as well. This building stands fourteen stories high and completely blocked part of the sky from my view. I had to walk around it quickly so as not to miss my radio interview, but the clouds in the sky made even this effort fruitless.
In other words, nature and humans conspired to keep me from witnessing a significant event in the heavens.
Three cultural and biblical responses
I am sharing my experience with you today for reasons that are far less meteorological than they are cultural and spiritual. Consider three biblical facts.
One: Nature demonstrates the existence of objective truth.
It is conventional wisdom today that truth is personal and subjective. Your truth is just as true for you as my truth is true for me.
Apply this thinking to the lunar eclipse. By definition, “the” eclipse would not exist, only “your” eclipse and “my” eclipse. Obviously, objective and predictable truth exists in the natural world, without which science would be impossible and our experiences in the material world would be challenging at best.
Jesus said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). Not “your” truth but “the” truth. God’s objective creation illustrates the fact that God’s truth is “the” objective truth.
Two: The fallenness of our world does not change the existence of God or the truthfulness of his word.
The cloud cover over Dallas kept me from seeing the Super Flower Blood Moon this morning, as did the tall office building before which I was standing. But while nature and humanity conspired to keep me from seeing the eclipse, they did not change the reality of the eclipse itself.
I once talked with a skeptic who said, “I don’t believe in hell.” He said this as though his statement settled the question of hell’s existence. I suggested to him that his opinions do not change reality. I can say, “I don’t believe Australia exists,” but my statement makes Australia no less real.
Jesus could pray to his Father, “Sanctify them in truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17). His statement was as true in the Roman Empire as it is today.
Three: We communicate transformational truth most effectively through transformed lives.
Since I could not see the Super Flower Blood Moon myself, I might have concluded that it did not exist. If, however, someone I trusted told me that they saw the eclipse and offered me evidence of its existence through pictures or video they took, I would be far more likely to believe in its existence for myself.
The gospel changes lives: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). When people see the difference Jesus makes in our lives, they are more likely to seek that difference in their lives.
Changed people change the world.
When last did encountering Jesus change your life?