Yesterday, I wrote about reflections– about being a reflection of God’s character in a dark world. Today just happens to be the 49th anniversary of the first moon landing, so I’d like to revisit yesterday’s theme, but with a slightly different analogy.
Mirrors, lakes, glass, and more can be used to reflect both light and images. The moon reflects light from the sun to light our way at night. God created it to do just that, and I believe that God never wastes an opportunity to teach us lessons in nature. So I want to look at just some of the ideas that occur to me about how the moon can teach us about reflecting God’s light in our darkened world.
First, the moon generates no light on its own. The moon is NOT the sun– it does not and cannot generate light or heat. On its own, it is lifeless and cold. But because of where it is, and what it is, it provides light, acts on the oceans to create tides, and helps us chart the weeks, months, and seasons. The moon doesn’t act independently, but it has purpose and beauty in reflecting the sun and following its prescribed orbit around the earth. If the moon were smaller, farther from the earth, nearer to the earth, or different in its nature, the effect on the earth and on all life would be devastating.
Second, the moon can only reflect the sun’s light when it is in position to do so. Moonlight is different every night because of its changing position. We have names for all the many phases– full moon, half-moon, quarter moon, crescent moon, new moon, and so on. Even more dramatic are the eclipses– when the world comes between the sun and moon, we get a lunar eclipse– the moon is shadowed because the sunlight cannot reach it– the world gets in the way. And, if the moon comes between the sun and the earth, there is a solar eclipse– the world becomes dark as the moon gets in the way of the sun’s rays. There is a good lesson here to us. If we are to reflect God’s light and character to the world, we cannot afford to let the world block out our light source. Worse, we cannot reflect light to the world when we step in front of our source and block out the Son!
Third, the moon can be visited– it can be mapped, studied, comprehended. We can look directly at the moon, stare at it, look at it through a telescope, and not go blind. We can send people in rockets to walk on the moon, take samples of its dust and rocks, plant flags on its surface, and even leave trash on its surface. There is still mystery and fascination to be found on the moon, but it doesn’t have the glory and awe of the sun.
Another interesting observation– there is no moon, nor need for it, in Heaven. There will be a new heaven and a new earth, but there is no mention of a new moon. There will be no seas (no tides), and no night. We will no longer be a reflection of God’s character to a darkened world– instead, we will be living in the actual light of His presence. What an awesome thought!
Obviously, like most analogies, there is no perfect correlation here. These are just some random thoughts and observations, and I’m no scientist or theologian. But, today, as we (hopefully) enjoy some time in the sun, and tonight as we reflect on the moon, I pray that we would get a special glimpse of His glory, and that we may use any opportunities that come our way to reflect it.