Welcome to Spring!
If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, today marks the vernal equinox, the first day of astronomical spring. (For those Down Under, this day heralds the arrival of autumn.)
The return of spring signals longer days with more sunlight and warmer temperatures. Even though it may take a while to see blooming flowers (especially in Canada!), the spring equinox is a reminder that brighter days are ahead.
But what exactly is an equinox?
We have two of them each year, in spring and fall. Each one marks the day when the sun is directly above the Earth’s equator (from our perspective), and night and day are of equal length.
The sun’s path then crosses the celestial equator (an imaginary line or circle in the sky directly above the Earth’s equator), and heads north or south, depending on the time of year.
At the spring equinox, the sun is rising into the Northern Hemisphere: it’s our turn for renewal.
But no matter where you live on the planet or what time of year it is, you can experience a new season of rebirth in your life.
Your new beginning comes when the Son rises in your life.
The moon did a disappearing act on me recently.
As I sat eating breakfast, I could see the moon shining brightly through the window. It handily outshone the streetlights, which were still on at that pre-dawn hour.
But slowly, the moon grew dimmer and fainter, although it was still high in the sky.
What had happened to its luminosity?
Had the moon changed in some way?
No, the sun had simply come up!
The sun’s growing brilliance filled the morning sky, causing the moon to appear paler than before. Eventually, I could barely see the moon at all, even though it hadn’t set behind the horizon yet.
This puts me in mind of how we sometimes view our problems.
In the darkness of our difficulties, we often focus on what’s causing us pain. The source of our problems gets our attention, out-competing other factors in our lives.
But if we let the light of Jesus shine on our situation, the truth of His unending love for us can outshine the temporary nature of our problems. Our challenges appear dimmer in the light of His forgiveness, His care for us, and His promise of eternal life.
Is the “dark side” of the moon truly as dark as we think it is?
From Earth, we only see one side of our companion satellite. The moon is “tidally locked” with our planet, with the result that it always presents the same face to us.
Because we can’t see the side of the moon facing away from the Earth, we sometimes assume that it’s in perpetual darkness.
But this isn’t so. The “dark side” of the moon (which should more accurately be called the “far side”) gets just as much sunlight as the face we see. All sides of the moon receive the sun’s light equally in turn.
From the sun’s perspective, the moon doesn’t have a dark side at all.
It’s our perspective that throws us off and leads us to the wrong conclusion.
We can easily fall prey to misconceptions about our own lives, too. When we don’t have the right perspective, we can assume that things are darker than they really are.
Naomi in the Old Testament Book of Ruth certainly made this mistake.