Some time ago here in Europe we had a total eclipse of the sun. For about 2 minutes the moon passed in front of the sun and completely blocked out its light.
Turning to Genesis chapter 1, we read that ‘God made two great lights -- the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night. He also made the stars.’
Let’s think about the moon? It has no light of its own. It simply reflects the light it receives from the sun. The result is a very inferior light. It is not enough to see colour, and it gives no warmth. It cannot contribute to growth or life. In London, where the solar eclipse was partial, even the 4% of the sun’s light that we saw was much brighter than the brightest full moon. However moonlight is better than no light, and at full moon it is certainly enough to see one’s pathway and to travel.
For centuries the church has been like the moon. It has had no light in itself, but has in varying degrees passed on a borrowed light. Sometimes the moon has been full. Sometimes it has just been a thin crescent, and sometimes and in some places total darkness.
God has something better for us. He plans that we should not just be reflectors of light. We should have light in ourselves. In John 8:12 he said, ‘I am the light of the world.’ In Mat 5:14: ‘You are the light of the world.’ We are not to be moons, but suns. He calls us to both sonship and sunship! ‘Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear’ (Mat 13:43).
Speaking of the Holy Spirit, Jesus said: ‘for he remains with you and will be in you’ (John 14:17). Before the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the disciples were like the moon. They could only reflect the light of their master who was with them. They had a second hand light. After Pentecost everything was different. He was in them. Their light was like the light of the sun.
When the sun and moon are both shining in the sky, the moon’s light is so inferior that it is barely visible! It appears bright when it shines at night, but when near the sun in daytime it is invisible. By comparison it has no light at all!
So at an eclipse, the moon approaches the sun unseen, and, coming between it and the earth, turns day into night. Let those who have no light in themselves beware. To pass on borrowed light is good for the night. To stand between the sun and the earth in the daytime is not to give light, but to turn it into darkness.