Monday, 21 March 2011

Perigee Moon 19th March 2011

So much has been written about the stunning appearance of the moon on Saturday evening, when it passed especially close to Earth and so looked so much brighter and bigger than a regular full moon.

People stopped in their tracks.

People were mesmerised by its beauty.

People blamed all their ills and worldwide tragedies on its rising.

People shrugged and said "so what?" 

When I first saw it rising, as captured so inadequately in these shots taken on my phone and then by digital camera through my spotting scope, it was a stunning orange colour like a setting sun, only in the east!

As it gradually climbed clear of the tree line above the local woods, the deep salmon shade altered and its breathtaking face became washed by corals, apricots, through salmon and cantaloupe until finally, still huge and brilliant, it took on the silvery white of full moons we often see.

But I'll never forget that moment when I first glimpsed it, shimmering like a sunset, still tangled in the treetops on the horizon.

I must have missed the last moon that was similarly bright at its "perigee" stage, or perhaps eighteen years ago there were clouds over where I was standing? 

Some try to seize power over truth through claiming our heart-stopping neighbouring satellite means this or portends that, marring the moment with arguments that distract or look fruitlessly beyond the moment where God is pouring out all his bounty of created loveliness yesterday, today and forever, as I personally believe.

I look into the sky at sights like these and thank the Lord I personally believe in, with all my heart.

The Bible's inspirational living word expresses humanity's reaction to such encounters with awesome sights:
"I will show wonders in the heavens
and on the Earth,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.
The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord." (Joel 30-1, New International Version).

 Through all history, we've often turned our eyes to such overwhelming sights of beauty and, in the fullest sense, "awesomeness",  that can turn our minds away from our own pettiness and selfish passing concerns towards whatever we do or don't believe in beyond ourselves.

To those who listen to him, Jesus said:

"Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father." (Matthew 24:36).

So lets not try to control or manipulate each other by pretending we know. Lets just celebrate such signs that the universe is incredibly and intricately made, whether you're convinced it exploded into being for no reason but the confluence of a self-generated soup of elements, or if, like me, your faith convinces you of a loving creator tracing a path of purposes through infinity of space and time, urgently calling you into his heart of cherishing eternity.

Lets just celebrate in peace and joy the amazing times we live in, and sights like this we are spared to see.

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