Did You See It?

Solar EclipseThe solar eclipse occurred this past Monday, and all week we've been hearing the question, "Did you see it?"

For our grandsons in the southwest suburbs, it was a special first-day-of-school activity, with every student getting a pair of cardboard eclipse glasses from their principal, and knowing, as they watched outside, that they were part of a special event touching the whole world.

For some of our church members, who made special travel plans to be in the path of the total eclipse on, it was an unforgettable, breath-taking and almost surreal moment, as the sun slowly blacked out, the corona became visible, and the final burst of light appeared just before the sun gradually reemerged.

For me, and the many, many other people who decided to watch the eclipse from Morton Arboretum, it was a festive time, seeing what we could (through the clouds) of the lunar shadow's journey across the sun, and having plenty of time to get acquainted with fellow viewers. I ran into church members Rich and Sarah DeMink (see stylish photo above), and had some great, extended conversations with strangers as we waited to witness each phase of the eclipse. Interestingly, as the eclipse progressed, and our time of conversational sharing drew to a close, the "strangers" and I all agreed that meeting each other, not just watching the eclipse, had been a gift of the day.

Did you see it? All of us had the chance to see the eclipse in some way or another (after trying to even find the sun through my solar glasses in our western suburban clouds, I really enjoyed watching the NASA telecast later in the day!) And we may have also noticed that, as wondrous as the eclipse was, there was more to see than only the eclipse - there was the connections with world, the awesomeness of our natural world and solar system, the marvel of the uniqueness of each person beside us.

This Sunday's worship services - including the special Children's Sabbath Service at 10:00 - will ask a "Did you see it?" sort of question.

This is a question woven into a story Jesus told. "Did you see me?" he asks. Did you see me in the people right in front of you? Did you see me in the people who were lonely, or hungry, or in prison, or who were strangers?"

At 10:00, children and youth in our congregation, along with Pastor John Smoke, will share ways they are answering that question.  The question will also be our focus at the 8:30 service. And at 10:00, be sure to bring your school backpack (or even your work briefcase!) for the "Blessing of the Backpacks" to start off the school year.

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