December Moon Set

The Facts

My wife and I sleep in a bedroom that has a window facing west. Our bed is placed such that we observe a setting moon through this window at certain times of the year. In late 2008 we were awakened by the gleaming light of a setting moon. It was dawn, so the sky had lightened but not enough to reduce the brightness of the full moon that was setting into the ridge to the west of our house. The moon was also a few hours after perigee, or its closest approach to earth during its orbital pattern. The sight was framed by a bare tree line, since it was winter, and the brown colors contrasted the moon that was setting behind them. We watched the scene for several minutes but it was too beautiful to ignore. Hence, a sketch was developed using a small 8 power binocular and a few pastels and pencils.

The Lesson

Moon rises and sets are common sights, but I never fail to appreciate them for their beauty. Such a common sight is often ignored or does not register with most people but the moon is mentioned in numerous scriptures in numerous places. Indeed, it is another of God’s created heavenly objects, but it is also the closest one to earth that we can observe. Its motion and presence affect tides, migratory birds, ocean currents, the strength of storms, and numerous other subtleties. As expressed by God, it is the ruler of the night sky. When it is near the peak of its 29 day cycle, it dominates the heavens. But it has no light of its own; it is devoid of life. The sun’s light is the key to our noticing its presence. So also is the Son’s presence in our heart the key to our life. Without him, we have no light, no life, and no hope. It is rare that I do not think of this analogy when I see the moon. So on this particular morning, I was thankful for the created moon and the sun that gave it light but especially thankful for the Son of God, who is the light of life.

“Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men.” John 1 verses 3-4 (NIV)

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