Today is the day we have all likely been hearing about for weeks: the day of the Great American Solar Eclipse.
From the Pacific coast to the Atlantic coast in the U.S., people are preparing to view this amazing sight.
The science behind this phenomenon, as well as the history of eclipses, is a fascinating thing to look into, but in addition to science and history, this eclipse has biblical significance, according to Jay Richards at The Stream.
Richards says that the eclipse is a symbol of Christ's Incarnation. He notes that, throughout history, Jesus’ mother Mary has been associated with the moon; specifically, Mary has been portrayed with the moon at her feet, such as in the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe or in the image of the Virgin Mary in Strasbourg Cathedral, which are both likely based on Revelation 12, which says: “And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; she was with child and she cried out in her pangs of birth, in anguish for delivery” (verses 1-2).
Why is this significant?
Well, as Richards reminds us, “When Mary first enters the biblical story, she’s just a young virgin from backwater Nazareth…During Jesus’ ministry, Mary never draws attention to herself. She points others to her Son…When she’s pregnant, though, Jesus is hidden within her body. No one can see Him. Think of it. The God of the universe, was, for a moment, small, hidden from view, inside the womb of one blessed young woman.”
This is a picture of the moon and the sun during an eclipse, says Richards. The sun is temporarily hidden behind a heavenly body which is much less powerful than itself.
“A celestial body hides a bright star that is 400 times larger than it is. That body emits no light of its own, though it reflects well the light of the Sun,” writes Richards.
“It’s like the first moments of the incarnation. One humble woman hid God Himself.”
When we watch the eclipse today may we be reminded of how the Son of God came to earth as a little baby to save sinners like us, and that, though He may seem hidden for a time, He has promised to be with us always.
Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/Allexxandar
Publication date: August 21, 2017