Saturday evening, those of us who watch such things were treated to an unusual occurence – the appearance of what is called a “supermoon”. That is when the moon appears 14% larger and 30% brighter than when it is at “apogee” – meaning when it is farthest away from the earth. In fact, technically, the moon made its closest approach to the earth early Sunday morning, so astronomers are saying that the viewing Sunday evening will be even better than on Saturday.
Now I am a little rusty on this stuff, but the moon is between 222,000 and 252,000 miles from the earth, depending on where it is in its elliptical orbit. Since the moon isn’t in a completely round orbit, the its distance from the dearth varies based on a number of factors and about every 14th full moon or so, it appears larger and brighter than in other months. In fact, the next supermoon with appear on August 10, 2014 – about 14 months away.
The interesting part of all this is that the moon is neither bigger or brighter than at other times, but it APPEARS bigger and brighter. The truth is that the moon has no light of its own; it merely reflects light from the sun so in reality, the moon doesn’t have any brightness at all. When it is in perigee, meaning closest to the earth, we get a better view of the moon and can see detail with the naked eye that was not as clear to us when the moon was farther away.
I’m sure that you know where I’m going with this – the same thing is true with God. When we are far away from God, He seems smaller and not as bright. But when we get closer to the Father and to His Son, Jesus Christ, he seems to be bigger and brighter than ever before. While it is true that the moon reflects light from the sun, God is light and we are told that there is no darkness in Him. He is the light of the world and the more intimate our relationship with Him, the more we get to know God and He reveals more detail to us, just like when the moon gets closer and we see things that we hadn’t seen from a distance.
And when you get closer to God, you don’t have to wait for a full moon – you can be close to God every day, regardless of where the moon is. The verse for tonight is from the book of 1 John, the first book that you learn to translate from the Greek when you attend seminary. That is because it is constructed so simply yet has such deep theology. We are told, in 1 John 1:5-7, “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”
My encouragement this evening is that you will walk in the light and as you deepen your relationship with the Father and His Son, you will see how bright the Father shines. And my prayer is that you will walk with the Lord all the days of your life, because you won’t have to wait until God comes close – He’s always right next to you; and pursuing you even as you read this… Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…