By Wade Huggins, Worship Pastor
This week, America stopped to witness a miraculous celestial event - one that all lower 48 states were able to witness to some degree - a solar eclipse. On Monday at 1:14pm, here in Athens only 20% of our sun was visible. It was stunning, beautiful, miraculous. We briefly stepped out of the hectic routine of life to marvel at something that doesn’t come around all that often. As I began to see the images from the eclipse flood the news and social media feeds, I thought I would do a little digging around into the details of the eclipse… as I read more and more I could not help but be taken away by God’s master artistry.
The diameter of the sun is 864,576 miles.
The diameter of the moon is 2,159 miles.
The distance from the earth to the sun is on average 93,000,000 miles.
The distance from the earth to the moon is on average 239,000 miles.
Take a minute to read those numbers again. How amazing is it that our tiny moon could come right between us and our massive sun at the perfect distance to create such a beautiful spectacle? To put this into perspective, if the moon is the size of a BB, the sun would be a ball 6 feet tall. Now, imagine holding that BB 12in from your face and going far enough away to just precisely cover the visibility of that 6 foot tall ball.
Eric Metaxas writes about this miracle. He points out that in order for the miracle of the moon crossing the path of the earth and sun in such a perfect and beautiful manner, the size and distance of the two (moon and sun) celestial bodies had to be just right. Not only just right but precise to a degree that is difficult to comprehend (on a massive scale). On top of that, the distance from a person to the moon also had to be perfect. All of these massive numbers aligned in perfect fashion this past Monday and it was hard for us not to stop and marvel.
Then just two nights later I was taken away again by something so beautiful; our moon, in a perfect crescent, reflecting the light of the sun through the clouds while a thunderstorm rumbled and flashed below. I was reminded that the miracle of nature doesn’t only come once in a while but is constantly surrounding us. Psalm 19:2 says, “The heavens declare the Glory of God. The skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech. Night after night they reveal knowledge.”
This week take the time to marvel at the miraculous. Gaze upon the moon in all it’s beauty. Take time to watch the sun rise on the horizon. See how the stars marvel at the Glory of God. Be taken away by the strength, beauty and sounds of a thunderstorm. As we read this week in Colossians 3:1 ““Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.”
Next time this miracle of the solar eclipse comes around, be sure not to miss it. Be sure not to marvel at it’s beauty. It's coming our way in 2024. But in the mean time, take the time to recognize the beauty that our Father has provided us every day.
Numbers and analogy referred to from: