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The Moon Turns Red

August 8, 2007

Joel 2:31
The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes.
Acts 2:20
The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day.
Revelation 6:12
When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and there came a great earthquake; the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood,

When I was in high school I played guitar in a Christian band. I was the lone Methodist in the group. Most of the others were Baptist but we also had a singer (who fancied himself the group leader) who was a real independent Charismatic type. Whenever we played he liked to give his testimony, which involved being high on drugs one night when the moon turned red and remembering the above passages from his Bible. In his altered state he became convinced that the world was ending and that it was too late for him.

Since I’m able to write this in the past tense, obviously the world did not end. When he sobered up he repented, rejoined the church, and began a process of living as a saved child of God.

The band had a serious falling-out and I haven’t kept track of that guy, but I’ll never forget that part of his testimony. And that was the first thought I had when I read about the upcoming Lunar Eclipse on August 28th. I may have to set the alarm clock for that one – it should be spectacular. The link provides a timetable and a cool description that should help you view the eclipse from wherever you are (it will be visible from most of North America, though the times are pretty inconvenient).

I don’t know what it’s like where you live, but from here the atmospheric conditions make the moon appear red pretty often. And every time it happens I remember those passages of scripture and I ponder what they mean and how we should interpret them.

Regular readers will find it unsurprising that I read them existentially. I just can’t see a blood-red moon as a harbinger of a one-time apocalypse. Rather, I see it as one of many reminders of our constant need for repentance; a periodic reminder that the Kingdom of God is in our midst and “at hand.” The red moon reminds me of my utter dependence upon God. I am made aware that I need God like I need oxygen, food, water and shelter; reminded that without God’s grace and providence I am nothing.

Enjoy the eclipse, and drink deeply of the goodness of God.

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