Friday, September 5, 2014

Don't Block the Son!

The summer I graduated from high school, my home town of Seward, Alaska, was in the direct path of a total solar eclipse. July 30, 1963, dawned bright and sunny with a gentle breeze blowing. The mountains had lost most of their snow, and their craggy peaks stood out in bold relief against the blue sky. Resurrection Bay sparkled like a many-faceted gemstone. The magenta fireweed were in full bloom, and the birds were singing.

The path of the total solar eclipse on July 30, 1963
That afternoon, while the four children I was babysitting were napping, I sat on the porch of their log home to observe the eclipse through a piece of undeveloped film. My most vivid memory of that event was not the eclipse itself, but how that bright and beautiful day suddenly turned cold and dark and windy. The birds stopped singing. The silence was eerie.

I knew scientifically that the sun hadn't stopped shining. Something had just gotten in the way and was blocking the sun.

How often does that happen in our spiritual lives? Jesus is the Light of the World (Matthew 5:14), but we can cause a state of total eclipse spiritually by blocking the Son, instead of reflecting His light. If we allow sin, the cares of this life, unforgiveness, or even grouchiness to block the love and joy and light and warmth that should be seen in us, we plunge ourselves as well as others into cold darkness.

The Apostle Paul admonishes us to "shine like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people." How can we do this? By living "clean, innocent lives as children of God (Philippians 2:15b). First Peter 3:15-16 tells us to worship "Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain a gentle and responsible way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ" (NLT).

I want to reflect, not block, the Light of Christ, don't you?

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