Harvest Moon

We arrive at the month of October with a spectacular celestial event called the Harvest Moon.  On such nights, the Earth’s satellite shows itself opposite the Sun (in Earth-based longitude) appearing full for about three days. The Moon shares its reflected light, casting away shadows with moon glow, making darkness appear as day.  
 
Even as a child, I remember the power of such early fall nights – when we would hear our mothers call us home from the neighborhood football game or the moonlit hop-skip chalk grid to prepare for bed. And we would wail, “But, Mom, it isn’t dark yet.”  On such nights, we simply wanted the moonlit games to go on forever.  
 
Once home, teeth brushed and tucked into bed, the visible outline of trees beyond our bedroom windows beaconed us, forbidding sleep. In the moonglow, our childlike imaginations went wild imagining all sorts of things both kind and malevolent loitering just outside our window, teasing us, scaring us, but ultimately awakening within us a sense of wonder and awe.  
 
As we grow older, many of us lose the capacity for wonder and awe we had as children.  The burden of responsibility and the trials and tribulations of our world beat us down, forcing us to narrow our view, to limit our imaginations, and to curtail our rebellion against that which limits our desire for a touch of the eternal  - something we knew intuitively in the experience of a backyard Harvest moonbeam.  And as we lose our capacity for wonder and awe, we often stumble into darkness.

Perhaps God created Harvest Moon nights to remind us that there is something beyond our worldly problems, our responsibilities, our trials and our tribulations.  Maybe God places the great reflecting light in the Carolina night sky to make us stop wherever we are, to look up, to leave our problems and our cares on the benighted sidewalk for a moment – just for a moment – so we see God’s reflected light shining into our darkness, leading us to the heart of wonder, awakening our spirit of awe.
 
Such celestial events are not something we worship, because they point beyond themselves to the One who created them. But they remind us of something very ancient, something very deep and older than the Sun, Earth and Moon themselves, something more magnificent than our spell-binding universe. They point to the One who spoke creation into existence and sent the Son to shine divine reflected light into every dark place. This is the light which darkness has not overcome. (John 1:5). 
 
So, as we enter a new season with a Harvest Moon overhead, let us open our hearts to wonder and to awe and let us see the mighty hand of God at play, pulling us from our troubles back into the playful, childlike joy of His glorious light even in the dark.

Blessings,
Pastor Frank