Last night I couldn’t help but notice a gorgeously brilliant full moon hanging in the sky. It stood out to me in the clear and crisp fall night air because it seemed larger and brighter than usual. Later I learned that it actually appeared so big because this month the full moon is in perigee, the point when the moon is closest to earth in its somewhat elliptical orbit.
A long time ago, I was taught that there are many spiritual lessons that can be learned from the physical world. The Bible even says, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (Psalms 19:1). Like the potter whose thoughts and actions are indelibly impressed into the clay he molds beneath his fingers, the heavens reveal the acts of the Creator and they reveal a spiritual message to those who take the time to listen.
I’ve always thought of the sun with all its intense light and immense power as symbolic of God. It sits in the center of the solar system, radiating forth its life-giving properties just as God sits in the center of all creation, without which life would cease. Consider also the moon, as the second brightest heavenly body near the earth, as a fitting symbol for Jesus. Here are some of the lessons I thought of as I looked for spiritual lessons I could learn from the moon
- The moon has no ability to shine on its own. It glows only because it reflects the glory of the sun. Similarly, Jesus has no glory separate from the Father. His is glorified because of the relationship he has with His Father.
- The moon, beginning each month as a dark “new moon,” increases in glory until it reaches it full brightness. Similarly Jesus grew in wisdom and favor with God and man until he reached the fullness of his glory.
- The moon is pitted and scarred with craters, the evidence of its punishing past. Jesus was beaten and bruised for us, his body bearing the wounds and scars of his beatings and crucifixion. Both the moon and Jesus were beaten, but they still survive.
- There is a strong bond, a relationship so to speak, between the moon and the earth. So too there is a bond between Christ and all mankind.
- It is said by some scientists that the moon is comprised of materials that came from the earth, and so too Jesus, a “sheep from the flock,” is the “second Adam,” fully a man.