In 2006 a solar eclipse caught me off guard. Here is my journal entry from that day:
JOURNAL MARCH 29, 2006
Today was so interesting. I was downtown (in Izmir, Turkey) working on getting new business cards. I looked out the window of the print shop and to my surprise saw the cobblestone streets filled with people looking up into the sky! Suddenly I remembered, “The total eclipse of the sun! is today at 1:34pm!” The excited crowds looking heavenward reminded me of a painting of people looking up at the coming of Christ! Offices and restaurants emptied, and the sidewalks filled with men, woman and children, as they peeked skyward, their arms were over their faces shielding themselves from the sun moon union. All were cloaked in the eerie semi-darkness, looking up to see the phenomena. Cars stopped and drivers jumped out of their cars.
People all around came out of corner markets and spice shops with every sort of thing to try and look at the eclipse. Many had old dental x‑rays, or x‑rays of a pelvic bone or a shoulder blade! A man handed me a large x-ray, so I viewed the eclipse through an x-ray of someones chest! (Surprising to me was that though I was looking forward to the event, I got wrapped up in business and I was totally unprepared. The hour had caught me off guard.)
Some people who also were unprepared were trying every sort of thing. I saw one man looking through a CD. Another took an old 3 1/2” floppy disk and tore it open and was attempting to look through that. Some were trying to put three pairs of sunglasses together. Others actually had special ISO glasses they had purchased for the event. It was dark but unlike a cloud. It was so ominous as the weird yellow greyness fell like the ancient plague over Egypt. – Journaled 3/39/2006, bp
Even a prolonged glance unprotected at a sliver of our earth’s Sun will burn your retina’s. No one can look at the sun; we all need something to go between us and it’s radiant brightness. In spiritual terms that’s what Jesus is for us — Jesus is the properly prepared “lens” that makes viewing Father God possible without disastrous results. God IS a consuming fire. Just as I saw people trying every sort of fangled thing ‑‑ because they hadn’t ISO prepared lenses, I see around the world whole countries who are trying to view God through dangerous lenses that do not properly reflect God’s holiness. Jesus alone exists to help us deal with God’s brightness and Jesus alone lets us acquaint ourselves with the Father’s person.
We know the day and the hour of the next eclipse. But we do not know the timing of Jesus’ return. The Bible says some will be caught off guard. Using the acronym ISO — here are free lenses to help you help prepare others for the greatest light phenomena of the millenniums: the coming of Christ.
1. Inform – Surprising, but some people don’t know that Jesus is coming. Last week I talked with a young Jewish woman from Miami. She had never heard Jesus is soon expected, “Oh again!?” she said. A simple question like, “Have you thought about Jesus’ return?” or “What do you know about Jesus’ coming?” can give you room to thoughtfully plant a thought seed for people.
2. Strengthen – Some people whom you inform will see that they are ill prepared for the end of all things. The point of telling about Jesus’ second coming isn’t the coming — it is Jesus. You stand in a position to strengthen people through personalizing the gospel story, the reality of Christ’s righteous robe, the sensibility of forgiveness, and the potency of humility.
3. Open – Open the Bible – it is difficult to read Matthew 24, or Luke 21, II Peter 3, or the book of Revelation without opening a new resolve to live in step with the Lamb of God. Open your home for people to study about the coming of Christ. Open your day for the Spirit to use you to talk about the signs of Christ’s coming around us. Open your mouth, because it has been proven that people hear us better when we open our mouths!
If you will see the eclipse of August 21 in North America — I recommend you get ISO glasses . . . instead of someone’s chest x-rays. And remember, that day is an especially good day to talk about supernatural darkness that happened on the very day and hour of Christ’s death! (Matt. 27:51-54)