On the early morning of March 9, Singapore experienced a partial solar eclipse where 90% of the sun was obscured by the moon at the maximum point of the eclipse. A solar eclipse happens when the moon moves in between the sun and the earth. The light and heat of the sun is temporary masked by the moon such that darkness from total to partial comes upon the face of the earth. It is like experiencing a night or an evening in the daytime.
As I wondered about this astronomical phenomenon during this Lenten season, so much of it describes our Christian discipleship by way of a warning – beware of living with a “Christian eclipse”! What is it that has come between God and us that obscure the light of his truth in our witness? There are many that we can think about. Let me just highlight a few major ones here:
SIN – Harbouring sins obscure our pursuit of God’s holiness. 1 John 1:5-6 warns – This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. Sin blocks our lives from God’s truth so that we cannot grow and shine as his disciples. People cannot clearly “see” God in our beliefs, attitudes, values and behaviours. Our Christian witness is at best murky and confusing. Are we laden with sins?
FAITH – Faithlessness and unfaithfulness obscure our pursuit of God’s purposes. Hebrews 3:12 warns – See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. The faithless says, “Prayer is a backup to my plan.” The unfaithful says, “Waywardness is humanness. I’m only human…” Are we in a habit of excusing God from our lives and also giving excuses in our lives? We must repent of this fatal habit because without faith, it is impossible to know God and please God.
DUTY – The church is not a social club, but a community of Christ’s disciples. A club serves its patrons, but the church serves her Master – Christ the King. People expect good service in a club. Christians are expected to fulfil godly duties in God’s church. Ecclesiastes 12:13 teaches – Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. Our Lord Jesus Christ when he was on earth taught his disciples to serve by his own examples. Ultimately, he served us with his whole life by his death and resurrection. Do we shy away from committed and sacrificial service to our Lord?
Disobedience and distrust obscure our testimonies for God. Stop living with a “Christian eclipse”. Let God’s glory shine!