I was searching for the right word to describe this rare heavenly event on January 31, 2018 that we haven’t seen for 150 years! The last time this happened was in 1868! It’s interesting to note that the total solar eclipse of 2017 was something that wouldn’t happen again for another 150 years, and so many people traveled to Oregon and parts of the Midwest, some from across the ocean to share in witnessing this phenomenon.
The year 2018 began with another celestial event with many layers of significance: SUPER because it’s closer to the earth’s orbit and appears between 12% to 30% larger and brighter, BLUE because it refers to a full moon at the beginning and end of the month, BLOOD because the total lunar eclipse causes the moon to pass through earth’s shadow and take on a reddish hue.
The lovely old-fashioned word PRETERNATURAL seems to fit the occasion.
“Medieval theologians made a clear distinction between the NATURAL, the PRETERNATURAL and the SUPERNATURAL. Thomas Aquinas argued that the SUPERNATURAL consists in “God’s unmediated actions”; the NATURAL is “what happens always or most of the time”; and the PRETERNATURAL is “what happens rarely, but nonetheless by the agency of created beings…Marvels belong, properly speaking, to the realm of the preternatural.”
Yes, it was marvelous in our eyes It certainly causes us to look up in awe at the precise mechanism of the universe we live in. Scientists relished the moment because they could get more information on the density of moon dust. “The fact that complete eclipses, solar and lunar, occur with the sun and the moon blocking each other perfectly is indeed a wonder, and unique to the Earth. Astronomers refer to this as the ‘Grand Coincidence’: the fact that the sun is exactly 400 times larger than the moon but, since the moon is 400 times closer to the Earth than the sun, the two bodies appear to be the same size. This confluence does not appear on any other known planet”. Rabbis have seen this Blood moon as a warning sign of judgment against the haters of Israel. As Christians we understand that the “last Days” began when Jesus returned to heaven and left us here to be His Body on earth.
In Matthew 24 the disciples asked Jesus, “What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?”. Jesus responded, “Don’t let anyone mislead you….”When we are always looking for signs, instead of focusing on our everyday assignment as Christ followers, we become very susceptible to being deceived. Jesus also said, “No man knows the day or the hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven, or the Son himself. Only the Father knows”.
The important thing for us is to be ready. We can speculate all we want, but we have to acknowledge there is a mystery locked up in heaven’s vault. Let’s keep looking up in wonder and anticipation for God’s perfect timing.
He is PERFECT in all of his ways.