Janet and I were talking about the odd spring weather several days ago. She read in the paper that during the month of April, their were 14 partly cloudy days and 16 totally cloudy days in metropolitan Indy – in other words, no sun for the entire month! And all week, we have been waiting for the sun to come out, and finally, for a little while late this afternoon, Mother’s Day, there it was! Short lived, but there for a little while. And isn’t it amazing how much our moods change when we are surrounded by cloudy weather and can’t get in the sunlight?
Some people actually get physically depressed, especially during the winter months, when they can’t get out in the sunlight and it is a well known fact that most of us do better in bright warmth than we do in cloudy, wet or chilly weather. In fact, there is an actual illness – Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), that is becoming a growing concern to medical practitioners. These are some of the reasons that people like Florida, California and the other southern states so much. Our country’s population is migrating south – and based on the weather we have had in the midwest this winter, and now this spring, it’s no wonder!
And tonight, as Janet and I were going on a walk with Lexie, our Doberman, it occurred to me that the lack of sun would be a great topic for tonight’s post. But not for the reason you think! While we all know about the weather, very few of us know the story of how the sun was introduced in the Bible – and since that’s the main focus of this blog, you must know that I feel a Bible story coming on.
It all starts with the creation story – starting in Genesis 1:1 and continuing through the end of the chapter, when the first six days of creation are completed. As you already know, from other posts I have written – such as “The Chicken Or The Egg?”, that the main theme of Genesis is that God created things, or “formed” them; and then his “filled” them. So after the heavens and earth were created in Gen. 1:7-8, God makes a decision to fill them with two great lights. In fact, Moses, the author of Genesis, shares in 1:16, “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.”
Now we know these lights are the sun and the moon – but God doesn’t say that. In fact, he calls them the “greater” light and the “lesser” light”. Why? He names almost everything else, except the animals, and gives that privilege to Adam. But what about these lights? Wouldn’t it be much easier to just name them and be done with it? Well, you and I would say “yes”, but God said “no”.
And herein lies one of the great mysteries of the Scriptures. But to the ancient people of God, it probably makes perfect sense. Because the Jews only worshipped one God – the God we know – but the Egyptians worshipped more than 3000 gods. In fact, their sun god was named Ra, and their moon god was named Thoth. And, there were thousands more! But these two gods, in particular, were very powerful and very important to the Egyptians. So, most theologians have come to the conclusion that God did not even consider the great lights important enough to name them! Get it? Two of the most powerful Egyptian gods were so small compared to the God of the Jews, that He didn’t even bother to name the two lights in the sky that we have come to know as the sun and the moon! How incredible!
So, in the scheme of things, God was only concerned about the really big things; and He certainly did not cater to the Egyptians – as we well know from the story of the Exodus from Egypt by Moses and the people of God. So now you have another piece of Bible trivia – where’s the sun and the moon? Not important enough to be named in Genesis 1!
So my encouragement tonight is to focus on the things that are really important – like family. Notice that God named “Man” and “Woman”, so that is what must be on His short list of important things. And He is all about relationships. So, this Mother’s Day, and in fact, every day, my prayer is that you focus on the relationships in your life. Strengthen the ties that you already have with family. And concentrate on righting the wrongs that you may be perpetrated against others. Because if God doesn’t even think the sun and the moon are worth naming, that’s a pretty strong statement about where we should be putting our focus. And if it weren’t for our mothers, none of us would be here! Have a great day celebrating family and your relationships.