Scripture: Psalm 112
Key verse: 4 They rise in the darkness as a light for the upright; they are gracious, merciful, and righteous.
Reflection : The amazing Nasa website https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/faq is full of helpful, interactive information to get you through today’s total solar eclipse including tips on how to host an eclipse party with the encouraging reminder that you can host a viewing party if any part of the umbral or penumbral shadow passes over your area. Oh, Nasa you party people (they did however, miss a beautiful chance to play Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” as you scrolled through their website, but you can remediate that at your own eclipse party tonight).
It’s a solar eclipse but the moon is really the star tonight (ba dump) as it is blocking our sunshine, despite it being four hundred times smaller than the mighty sun: distance and perspective are the supporting actors in this great show today. On its own the mercurial moon is really not much to look at; in fact it can’t even shine. The magical moonlight of our evening journeys is the sun light being reflected from the moon. The moon on its own, without the sun or gravity is not capable of much, but because it is in concert with gravity, earth and the sun; well, our lunar friend can make oceans move and illuminate even the darkest night.
In difficult times, the gracious, merciful and righteous are needed so that the darkness does not pretend it can overcome. Those who fear (love) God can make a crucial difference in trying and terrible times not by trying to generate grace and mercy (that usually leads to noise and self-righteousness) but by reflecting the One who makes all of that possible. Disciples are not better people than anyone else, they just work to keep in orbit with God; they are willing to stand and as a result shine because of, and for, the Lord of heaven and earth who yet loves creation and it’s creatures big and small, black and white, near and far, precious everyone in his sight.
Prayer: Living God, however poor our prayer is, we search for you with confidence. And your love carves out a way forward through our hesitations and even through our doubts. You have blessed us, living God; you bury our past in the heart of Christ and are going to take care of our future. Amen.
(Prayer from the Taize community)
Author: Derek Macleod
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].