Don’t look now, but the sky was filled with darkness. Yes, an event that may have happened right when Jesus died on the cross happened on August 21st right here in the United States. There may have been an earthquake somewhere in the world at the same time. You don’t need to read many accounts of the sky going dark to know that most people thought it was a significant religious event. They were terrified. The actually thought that the world was coming to an end. The final judgment was nigh. I am sure that some opportunistic apocalyptic snake charmer will find a way to exploit the fears and religious fervor that these events can arouse.
The Mayans liked to use these events to offer sacrifices to their gods. They liked to use their knowledge of moon and sun to solidify their religious positions. At that time religion and science were inextricably intertwined. Thankfully they are not so intertwined these days.
No scientist will be calling for a blood sacrifice to sate the anger of gods. They will wait for a few minutes to let the umbra (shadow) of the eclipse pass by. Then, they will go on their way making note that it was an awe inspiring event of cosmic proportions, literally; an event that they are able to predict many years in advance. They are also able to go back in time and tell us when there was a total eclipse in the holy city of Jerusalem in the first century.
For some reason there seems to be more animosity between religious folk and the scientists. There need be none. The Bible does not teach science and is not and should not be a source of science for anyone in the world today. The Bible is a source of grace that finds its place in our hearts because of what it tells us about the Good News of Christ Jesus. If you want to know when the next eclipse is (2024 and totality can be seen in Conneaut), one doesn’t go to the Bible. One goes to the people of knowledge in this area: astrophysicists. If one would like to know how much Jesus loves us, how much God loves us, you go to the Bible:
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
There should not be any animosity between science and scientists over against religion and spiritualists. They are each only part of the same creation: a gift that God has given to us. God has given us authority over creation as a steward or regent has over a kingdom. I hope that we will be here when that Kingdom comes to its fruition and the Ruler of all will take back creation from those that promised to keep it and tend it.
Thanks be to God!
Pastor Patrick J. Van De Motter