…why do you stand here looking into the sky?
It made me laugh when I read this verse last Monday night, August 21. It’s been barely a week since most people in the continental United States stood looking intently into the sky at the solar eclipse. I happen to live in the path of totality and we were blessed with clear skies at 1:28:01 pm when the moon totally covered the sun for 50 seconds. The experience was breathtaking and surreal. It was a rare event that will not be forgotten. I can’t imagine angels coming to ask us what we were all looking at!
There were friends and neighbors gathered around our pool for the afternoon. The kids were swimming as the moon began to obscure the sun. Just as predicted, the atmosphere got a fuzzy haze to it, like a filter on an Instagram photo. We could see the eclipsing sun projected on the ground in thousands of little shadows as the dimming sunlight filtered through the trees. The anticipation was more fun than awaiting midnight on New Year’s Eve! Every few minutes we would put on our eclipse glasses and take a look to see how close we were to totality.
Anxiously we watched as the crescent sun waned into nothingness and then removed our glasses for a once in a lifetime experience. The first thing we saw was the diamond ring that we had read about. After that we could see the dark side of the moon with brilliant rays of sunlight beaming from behind it, more beautiful than the most brilliant rainbow you’ve ever seen. Scientist call it the corona. Instantly, the sky grew strangely dim and the cicadas burst out in a loud chorus. In the twinkling of an eye, just like that, it was over and we were forced to don the fashionable eye wear of the day.
The Bible tells us that when Jesus ascended into heaven the disciples stood there looking intently into the sky as a cloud hid him from their sight. The angels even came and asked them why they were staring into the sky! Then they told them this, “This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
On that day, when Jesus, the Light of the World returns, the total solar eclipse will pale in comparison. I imagine that we will not be able to look directly at His radiant glory; it will outshine the sun! We wait expectantly for His coming again! And hope does not disappoint us…. Revelation tells us that we will see the signs. In the twinkling of an eye, the things of this world will grow strangely dim (sing it, in the light of His glory and grace) and we will forevermore be in the presence of our Savior wearing a crown brighter than the corona of our sun. We will join with the chorus of angels who forever sing, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.
But why wait to sing His praise? How about I leave you with this old hymn:
Heavenly sunlight! Heavenly sunlight!
Flooding my soul with glory divine;
Hallelujah! I am rejoicing,
Singing His praises, Jesus is mine!
Shadows around me, shadows above me
Never conceal my Savior and Guide;
He is the light, in Him is no darkness,
Ever I’m walking close to His side.
In the bright sunlight, ever rejoicing,
Pressing my way to mansions above;
Singing His praises, gladly I’m walking,
Walking in sunlight, sunlight of love.
Come, Lord Jesus!
In His light and love,