Radiance of


An Astronomical Occurrence

On April 8, 2024, much of the country stopped to watch a rare astronomical event: a total solar eclipse. During the solar eclipse, the moon passed directly between the Earth and the Sun, so that from the earth it looked like the moon completely covered the disk of the sun. The path of the darkest shadow cast by the moon on the earth, also called the path of totality, started in Mexico, traveling across the United States and Mexico. Even people that were not within the path of totality were able to observe a partial solar eclipse.

For a total eclipse to occur, the moon must be in a New Moon phase, when the moon is between the Sun and Earth. There are only two locations where the Moon’s orbit and the Earth’s orbit intersect, and the moon needs to be at one of these locations for a total solar eclipse. Additionally, for a total eclipse, the moon needs to be closer to earth, otherwise it would be an annular eclipse. Astronomers have determined that all the details for a total solar to happen occurs about every 18 months. A total solar eclipse occurs in the same place on the planet about every 375 years. There are a lot of reasons for excitement about the opportunity to directly view this relatively rare event.

During the solar eclipse, people across the region were looking up toward the sun to see this solar event. The common tool of all of these people was a pair of paper glasses with an extremely dark film lens. This simple accessory for this event was absolutely necessary due to the power and brightness of the sun. Prior to the eclipse, doctors were warning people to wear these safety glasses to protect their eyes from damage that could occur from looking at the sun during the solar eclipse.

Brightness and Glory

There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.

I Corinthians 15:41

In this passage, the Greek word doxa is translated as glory. As the passage relates the term glory with brightness, where the sun is the brightest object in the sky, so it would have the most glory. The stars have the least glory, since they are the least bright objects in the sky, and only seen at night.

When the Bible discusses the glory of God, it shows the public display of God’s identity, His overall nature and character. Glory is all of the things that make Him weighty, wonderful and magnificent, made manifest as light and brightness. The sun is so bright that we cannot look at it without damaging our eyes, but God’s glory is even brighter than that of the sun.

And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light.

Matthew 17:1-3

During Jesus’ ministry, He took three of His disciples, Peter, James, and John, to experience an extremely special phenomenon. They went up to a high mountain, where Jesus was transfigured. For a moment, the face of Jesus changed so that it “shone like the sun” and his clothes became a brilliant white. Additionally, the event included a bright cloud that overshadowed them, with a voice that said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him.”

For a moment, these three disciples experienced the glory of God. When Jesus’s face began to show brightness like the sun, it was like the disciples observed the true essence of Jesus for the first time.

This is the message we have heard from Him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.

1 John 1:5b

The face of Jesus was reflecting who God is in a physical way, demonstrated as a light as bright as the sun. During the transfiguration, the disciples experienced something similar to what Moses experienced on Mount Sinai when he met with God.

After receiving the commandments from God, Moses asked God to see His glory. God agreed, but that Moses “cannot see My face, for man shall not see Me and live.” Where viewing the brightness of the sun can blind someone, viewing the glory of God is fatal. So, God passed by Moses, while protecting him, but Moses could see the back of God.

Glorifying His Glory

To know God, including His identity, is to know the glory of God. But we were not created to just know the glory of God. We were initially created to glorify God. If the glory of God is the brightness representing who God is, then to glorify God is to reflect the identity of God through who we are. This is our original purpose, to be image-bearers of God’s glory, of His identity.

We live in a world described by the apostle John as darkness, because of the absence of God’s rule in this world. As believers in God, redeemed through the sacrifice of Jesus, we are called to glorify God, by reflecting who He is through how we live. Since God is good, our identity should reflect His goodness. Since God is holy, we should be separate and holy in who we are and what we do. As we live reflecting God’s identity through who we are, we will be different from the darkness around us. We will be reflecting His light into the world that desperately needs it.

During the eclipse, the moon came between the sun and the Earth, seeming to block the light of the sun. The darkness overtook the daytime, where it was dark in the middle of the day. Even though it became darker, the moon was not able to completely blot out the light of the sun. There was still a ring of light that could be observed.

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Matthew 5:13-16

As we reflect His identity to the world around us are are glorifying His glory. In that we are the light of the world. The darkness of the world cannot overcome the light that we present through our lives, as allow Him to live through us. The only way that the darkness overcomes the light is when we choose not to follow Jesus.

Your Response

If you would like to know more about receiving the new identity that God offers you, please take some time to hear about God’s Good News.

Time for Reflection

Read Ephesians 5:6-14

The passage says, “At one time, you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.” What do you think about when you read this?

What does it mean to walk as “children of light”?

Take some time to watch the live performance of the worship song King of Glory.

The Christian life is all about being the person God created you to be. How does reflecting on the glory of God help you in discovering who God has created you to be?

Pass it on!

If God has used this article to encourage or challenge you, please take some time to share it with others by sharing it on your facebook or other social media site.  Adding comments to the post also let’s us know what you are thinking about what God is teaching you. Also, please let us know how we can continue to help you discover who God is and who He created to you be.


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