The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Psalm 19:1
Today a solar eclipse will appear. Much has been said about it as you are well aware. Some have suggested some kind of impending doom. The idea of “star-crossed” means that lovers must submit to misfortunes that are dictated by the activities of the heavens. But do the stars have a mind and will of their own? And if they do, why are they so upset with humanity?
On the fourth day of creation God said, “‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.’ And it was so.” Martin Luther (16th C) commented that the entire creation is simply the Word of God uttered by God (LW 1:22). Luther concluded this based upon the Biblical account of creation. God said and it was so. Before God said there was nothing. But when God said, “Let there be…” creation came into existence ex nihilo (out of nothing)! On the fourth day of creation, the sun, moon and stars were spoken into existence by God. God intended for these heavenly objects to be for “signs and seasons, and for days and years….” Rather than having an adverse will toward humanity and the rest of creation, the sun and moon were given to be of service to the rest of creation by providing light, warmth and the marking of days.
More recently, Angus Menuge has explored the metaphor of creation as a book. The job of the scientist then is to read creation (cf. Reading God’s World. CPH: 2004). I think that this approach to investigating nature fits beautifully with Genesis 1. Since creation is the manifestation of God’s Word, it can be known via the hermeneutics of scientific investigation. Every scientist knows that observation is key to scientific study. The five senses given to humanity is a great gift in many ways including the ability to make observations. The scientific method requires careful observation. Even today, many will observe the eclipse via a host of methods. I think it is safe then to say, “Today we will read the solar eclipse.” In reading the eclipse we will marvel at the order within creation and be in awe of the beauty of the heavens.
What our reason and senses cannot do is believe that the heavens declare the glory of God and the sky proclaims His handiwork. The five senses and good reason can do so much but these cannot believe. Faith believes. “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things unseen.” (Hebrews 11:1) Faith comes by hearing the Word of God and believes that same Word. (Romans 10:17) Faith clings to Jesus Christ and believes, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible… and in Him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:15ff) While our senses will observe the solar eclipse, faith will apprehend the truth that today’s eclipse declares the glory of God and proclaims His handiwork.
Rev. Stephen W. Kieser
Headmaster / Associate Pastor