What do the following three statements have in common?
- Make sure you pack plenty of food and water for your trip.
- Be sure to remind your pets not to panic before the event begins.
- Don’t look at the sun without proper eye protection.
Yep! If you live anywhere around the Tennessee Valley, you know that all of these statements came from the news media concerning the total eclipse we will be experiencing today. Now, I have always considered myself to be a huge geek when it comes to anything astronomical. I can remember the excitement I felt as a young person when we were privileged to view partial solar eclipses and total lunar eclipses. I always felt a little let down afterwards because it didn’t really live up to my expectations. And with all the hype and craziness going on around this eclipse, I expect much of the same. But today, my city is in the 96% Zone of Totality. What does that mean? It’s going to get dark around 1:30 this afternoon.
But I think that people have gone absolutely insane over this. Some have paid $15,000 to view the eclipse from an air-conditioned room at a football stadium. I hope that includes refreshments and a pair of gold-plated viewing glasses. Some have spent $1,500 for glamping in the “zone of totality.” I can only assume that means camping with some type of extra benefit. But what is almost as bad is to hear of people waiting for hours to spend $10 on a pair of paper glasses. I can ALMOST understand some friends of mine waiting 4 hours to purchase the totally chocolate-glazed eclipse donuts at Krispy Kreme. Almost. As much as I love their chocolate-covered donuts, I’m not waiting 4 hours for any kind of donut. Again, I think that people have gone absolutely crazy over this.
The Bible says that God has given us the sun, moon, and stars for “signs.” Some believe that eclipses are signs warning of coming judgment. That could possibly be the case for the United States because we are long overdue. Others have talked about the possibility of earthquakes caused by the eclipse, but as far as I know, there are no scientific bases for that at all.
Sonya and I have talked about all the possibilities we have heard surrounding the eclipse. That is why she said what she did this morning before we left for work. We kissed goodbye, spoke of our love for each other, wished each other a good day, and then she said it: “If I don’t see you again down here, I’ll see you in the air with Jesus.” Man! All I could think of was, “Wouldn’t that be great?” You see, with the timing of this total eclipse and the next one – 7 years from now – there are those who have mentioned this would be a great time for the Rapture of the church followed by the Great Tribulation and Jesus’ glorious Second Coming. After all, if the sun was created for the purpose of giving us signs, wouldn’t that be just like the Father to have it all planned out like this? Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying that the Rapture is going to happen today or tomorrow – but it could! And I thought about all those posts I have seen on Facebook. If Christians had spent as much time preparing for the Lord’s return as we have spent preparing for this eclipse, what a difference we could have made in the lives of the people around us.
Here is the truth! We don’t know when the Rapture will occur. We don’t even know when someone we love will breathe their last breath. That’s why the Bible so urgently instructs us to do the work God has commanded us to do – to make disciples – while we can. We need to work for the night is coming, and just like the eclipse today, it may come sooner than you think. Are you ready? Even so, Lord Jesus, come quickly!