This morning, I stealthily exited my bedroom at 5:45 and made my way outside into the chilly darkness of pre-dawn, not to go to the gym (which is what I usually wake up early for) but to see the second in a series of four lunar eclipses that are occurring in 2014-2015.
I must have looked suspicious, lurking about my yard and then wandering down the street in search of a better view of this phenomenon. Of course, the best view is always from the middle of the street, but even at 5:45am, there is too much intermittent traffic on our street to take advantage of that prime vantage point without causing alarm.
I remember walking to the gym just a couple of months ago at this time, and the sun had already risen. Now, as I ventured further down the deserted road with no hint of the sun in sight, my familiar neighborhood felt a bit eerie. Still, I continued on, taking a few very substandard pictures with my phone. Honestly, the moon was not too striking a sight; it simply looked greyed. Somehow, my phone was able to capture the redness that my human eye could not detect.
More marvelous to me than the moon, though, were the stars. The sky was perfectly clear, and I could spy even the tiniest clusters of stars. The song “God of Wonders” came to mind, and I sang it softly as I admired His handiwork, walking back home.
Last night, before falling asleep, I read some interesting material online about the significance of this tetrad of lunar eclipses, as compared to the others that have transpired over the centuries. The four lunar eclipses of 2014-2015 coincide directly with four, high Jewish festivals, which has never happened before. There are biblical references to the moon turning to blood as a precursor of the end times in Joel 2:30-31 and Acts 2:20. Of special note are the significant historical events that have occurred in correlation with previous blood moons: the great persecution of the Jews and Christians in 162-163AD, Queen Isabella expelling the Jews from Spain in 1492, Israel achieving statehood in 1948 (but officially in 1949, the year of the blood moon), etc. In every case, the nation of Israel has faced a great trial or event. (Source: http://www.pray4zion.org)
I cannot speak to whether or not I believe that this tetrad will mark the end of the world as we know it, but I do know that God is a God of order. He created the sun, moon, and stars, and He fulfills His purpose through His creation. If He is using the blood moons to signal His imminent arrival, so be it.
When I came in from my walk, I “randomly” turned to Psalm 148 that speaks to his sovereignty over all creation, which was inspiring and comforting. Then, I flipped to the New Testament and “happened upon” Luke 21:8-36, in which Jesus talks about the signs of the end of the age. Verse 25 says: “There will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars . . .” Of course, this section of scripture refers primarily to the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, but there are also elements of His second coming embedded in it. He, in several places throughout the gospels, encourages us not to be fearful of such things and to be watchful and ready for His return.
I confess, last night I was fearful. Reading about the potential second coming of Christ didn’t bring me the joy that it should. I feared the loss of this life, this crazy, familiar earthly life with my wonderful, cantankerous husband and my mind-numbing, beautiful children. (Yes, they may have just sent me into an emotional tailspin over the past several minutes, with their incessant crying and endless questioning as I try to write this.)
However, my takeaway from last night’s research through this morning’s moment of worship and Scripture reading is to not get caught up in the everyday cares and trials of this world, and thereby miss the beauty of His marvelous creation and the calling He has on my life for today. I should always be preparing for Him, always be drawing close to Him, and always be desiring His presence in my everyday life.