Monday, August 21, 2017

A God-Forsaken Eclipse. Literally.

Eclipse frenzy has overtaken the nation. People are taking the day off from work. Packing up RVs. Posting warning signs on the highway. Even glazing Krispy Kreme donuts with chocolate. This is serious business, folks.

So last Thursday, it occurred to me that I should get some certified viewing glasses. But was sold out. So was Lowes. And the line at the science museum was a couple hundred deep - even after selling out, because there was a rumor at the end of the line that you might be able to get a slip of paper you could bring back on Monday to maybe buy a pair. Looked like a homemade cereal box viewer would be on my weekend project list.

Since I wasn't going to be able to look at the eclipse, I decided to research it instead. And the very first thing I read stopped me in my tracks.

If you know me, you know that I'm a “words” person. And this is what I discovered about the word “eclipse:” it's the French translation of a Greek word. That Greek word? Forsaken. The word eclipse means forsaken, abandoned.

...darkness came over the whole land. At about three in the afternoon Jesus cried out with a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" that is, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Matthew 27:46 HCSB

The sky went dark and Jesus was literally eclipsed. Forsaken. Abandoned. The sun He created turned dark, and the Father He created it with turned away. 

Do you have days or seasons when you feel eclipsed? Forsaken by those you love? Abandoned by those you count on? Alone in the dark of despair? Jesus knows what that feels like. To be hurting and abandoned. Profoundly alone even in the midst of a crushing crowd.

But what's astounding is that He chose that eclipse. He chose to bear it and experience it in my place. In your place. He did it so that our sin and brokenness would be eclipsed as well, left nailed to the dark Cross so that we could walk freely into the light.

Today, as you watch the solar eclipse with your certified glasses or your cereal box, think about that. Think about the day God eclipsed the sun and eclipsed His Son, because the Son was   shouldering our mess.

And remember that it ended well. Really well. Not at first, but ultimately, that eclipse led to a conquered grave. Just like our circumstances might not end well at first. They may get even messier. Even more painful, more dark. But eventually, there will be light. A light so bright that there will never be night.

The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp... there will be no night there. Revelation 20:23,25b NIV

p.s. A special thanks to my dear friend, Carol, who slipped me two pairs of eclipse-viewing glasses in the midst of her own birthday celebration this weekend; with her engineer brain and generous heart, she's always two steps ahead and ready to help a sister out!