After months of hype, the eclipse is finally here. Parties have been planned, schools are out, glasses are purchased, and we’ve been warned: “Don’t look directly at the sun!”
We’ve known this was coming. In fact, astronomers tell us they can predict every eclipse for the next 1,000 years (good thing; I need to make plans for 2915). Have you ever thought the universe does not have to be predictable? In fact, the Big Bang suggests the universe should be chaotic, not predictable.
God, however, made the universe to have order and predictability. Though free spirits may chaff against the routine, the routineness of gravity makes us feel secure. None of us ever worry about the sun coming up in the morning. We know the most important thing a child can receive from his or her parents is a sense of predictability. Our heavenly Father has given us a predictable universe we can count on.
Do you know why eclipses work? The moon places itself between the sun and the earth and its shadow falls across earth. How is the moon able to completely block the sun? Isn’t the sun much larger than the moon?
The sun, in fact, is 400 times larger than the moon. But the sun is also about 400 times farther away from earth than the moon is. Amazing coincidence? Or one more clue that the universe has an intentional design by an intelligent designer? Maybe God gives us the experience of an eclipse so we can remember God arranged things on purpose.
Although the math is difficult, ultimately the universe is a giant rotating clock, beautiful in its complexity and simplicity. I have an image of God holding the universe in his hand, just as a man holds a pocket watch in his hand. Christianity teaches the God who holds the universe also holds me. He knows our names, and the number of hairs on our head. Events like the eclipse remind me the God who does life with me, holds the universe together with his grace.
Psalm 18:1 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Pause and ask what the eclipse tells you about the glory of God.
But keep your glasses on.