A total solar eclipse paraded down a swath of the United States from Oregon to South Carolina on August 21st, becoming the event of the summer – for good reason. The science behind the moon’s covering our view of the sun is fascinating. And the idea of science creating tourism and community is just as fascinating.
It seems to me that the eclipse can also carry a spiritual blessing as well. The metaphor of an eclipse is an interesting tool for understanding how the Holy Spirit enables us to become people who look, talk, and behave like Jesus. An eclipse happens over a period of hours. On Monday we watched the moon slowly blocking out more and more of the sun until suddenly “totality” occurred: the sun was eclipsed by the moon and all that remained visually was the corona around it.
Our goal as Christ-followers is “totality.” We yearn to have the mind, body, and heart of Christ. We want people to see Jesus when they look at us. We need the Holy Spirit to eclipse us!
In this journey to experience “totality,” we become more and more conscious of our attitudes, emotions, and behaviors. We are motivated and empowered to change them if necessary. This eclipse of the soul is completed when we enter the eternal Kingdom. But we can see slivers of progress in this life as we embrace the movement of the Holy Spirit. Stretching the metaphor a bit, we can say that as we grow more and more spiritually mature, the radiance of God’s love, like the sun’s corona, will be seen in and around us, drawing people to God.
For Christ-followers and the worlds they live in, being totally eclipsed by the Holy Spirit is even more life-changing than the privilege of viewing a total solar eclipse!