In just a little over one month on August 21, 2017, millions of people across the United States will see nature’s most wondrous spectacle — a total eclipse of the Sun. It will be a scene of unimaginable beauty; the moon will completely block the sun, daytime will become a deep twilight, as the sun’s corona shimmers in the darkened sky.
The last time a total solar eclipse crossed the United States from the Atlantic to the Pacific was June 8, 1918 crossing the United States from Washington State to Florida. This path was roughly similar to the track that the coming eclipse will take. We won’t have as long to wait for the next total eclipse, which will take place April 8, 2024.
I think the best web site for all the eclipse details is www.greatamericaneclipse.com. One of the features is a fly over of the entire country with time of day included showing the 70 mile swath that will be a total eclipse lasting about 2 ½ minutes in each area of the country.
On the beach in Oregon, at a rocky spot of ground just north of Newport that sticks its nose out into the Pacific; the shadow first touches land at about 10:15 in the morning. Idaho Falls is just south of the path. One of the best places in the country to view this event is in the southern part of Grand Teton National Park about 11:35 am. for folks who want to experience nature while being overwhelmed by nature. My nephew lives there and says residents are renting their homes for up to $30,000 for the week to be a part of history!
The eclipse path really shines in the great Midwestern state of Nebraska, cutting across endless miles of prairie, lots of good-sized cities, and one more state capital at 11:48am. In Kansas the path travels through the very far NE corner of the Sunflower State. Yes, Leavenworth is in the path as well, although certain residents of Leavenworth may be somewhat limited in their travel opportunities. Because Kansas City and St. Louis are partially in the path of totality, more people will see the eclipse here by default, than at any other point along the path!
The southern part of Illinois is a prime viewing location. Kentucky also boasts wonderful viewing areas, with totality at Paducah (1:22pm) lasting 2m20s of totality. Ah, Nashville. Home to the Grand Ol’ Opry, and mecca for country crooners worldwide. But on this day, the great capital of Tennessee has a new claim to fame – a total eclipse!
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, or at least the western part of it, lies in the path of totality! All good things must come to an end, and at 2:36:02 pm, the shadow of the great 2017 total eclipse touches the final state in its path. South Carolina also brings us the fifth state capitol to be immersed in shadow, and several large cities will be able to play host to eclipse-chasers from all over. And, just like that the Great American Eclipse is over as this terrestrial shadow moves into the Atlantic.
Way back in Genesis 1:3 we see God, the Creator of our world and solar system, realizing that first of all we needed light in our world. He said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness.” That’s what makes solar eclipses so special. The light and darkness converge in the sky causing a brief eclipse. It’s not a sign of the end of the world. It’s just a sign that God is in control of not just the earth, but also the entire solar system.
In Joshua chapter 10 we read the story of the Israelites coming up against the Amorites. Joshua said to the Lord, “O sun stand still over Gibeon, O moon over the Valley of Aijalo.” So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, for about a day until the Israelites were victorious. “There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a man. Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel!”
This was a miraculous sign that God does hear and answers our prayers. Here at Navajo Ministries, we need to see a miracle that would not stop the sun, but stop the ongoing deficit of funds that is threatening the important work of this ministry. On Wednesday, July 19th, our Board of Directors will be praying and fasting, asking God to intervene and bring us the victory over the enemy who desires to kill, steal and destroy. If others of our staff and friends would like to agree in prayer with us, please join in. We’ve seen God do it before. Let’s ask Him to do it again!
P.S. Listen in to the Four Corners Spotlight show on Vertical Radio, July 27th at 10 a.m. I will be interviewing Dr. Steve Ruskin, award-winning historian of Astronomy with a PhD in History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Notre Dame as we discuss past eclipses and the coming one.