We are getting ready here in central Indiana for a very rare occurrence. That is, on April 8th of this year, a total solar eclipse will occur and Hamilton County, Indiana, the county where our home in Carmel is located, will be one of the rare cities that is in the path of “totality.” That means that we will be plunged into darkness as the sun is completely obscured from view during a three and a half minute period in mid afternoon. Even the schools will be closed that day so the students can observe this occasion with their families!
Of course, it takes several hours for the total eclipse to happen, but it is a rarity to be in the path of complete darkness. Several years ago, another total solar eclipse occurred in the U.S. and while we experienced some level of darkness, like a twilight kind of dusk, it rely wasn’t the major event this next eclipse will provide.
Parts of central Indiana are preparing for the onslaught of visitors who are expected to descend on Hamilton County. Hotels are booked up and a number of local parks and government sponsored events, including museums, are setting up programming to attract tourists.
Our family is fortunate. The last time that Carmel was in the path of totality was 819 years ago! That means it was in the year 1205. And the next total solar eclipse in the United States will occur on August 23, 2044 but it will only touch Montana as well as North and South Dakota… It’s probably safe to say that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for us.
Our family has decided to have a party in our driveway. We will invite out of town family members as it will be impossible to get anywhere near a hotel. Everyone is going to pitch in and we will load up the smoker with various kinds of meats and sausages. Our plans are grand but who knows if we will really be able to carry it out.
I have already purchased 20 pairs of solar glasses that can be used to safely view the event without risk of damage to our eyes. No doubt it is fascinating to witness something like this. The sun, moon and stars have always created interest from the earliest of times.
The ancient Egyptians worshipped more than 3000 different gods. One of the most senior gods was Ra, the sun god and father of all creation. It was thought that he could not only control the movement of the sun but that he could also be the sun itself.
Interestingly, when Moses wrote the book of Genesis and gives us the creation story, most people don’t realize that he didn’t call the sun and moon by name. Most theologians agree that this was because Moses wanted to let the Egyptians know that our God (notice the cap G) was greater than Ra. In fact, the sun and moon were so insignificant in comparison to the awesome power of God, that He didn’t even bother to name them…
It’s also interesting to think about some of the things in the Bible that we miss or think that we read. So tonight’s verse highlights the creation passage when God created day and night. Moses tells us, in Genesis 1:16-18, “God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good.” That’s really educational, isn’t it!
My encouragement this evening is that God is about to demonstrate once again His awesome power and control of everything, including the paths of the sun and the moon. My prayer is that this celestial event will once again stun us with the beauty and order with which God created the universe and everything in it. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…