Sunrise, sunset

Sunrise at Myrtle Beach SC

With all the focus on the sun lately, it reminded me of how much we love the sun, how much we rely on it. Older civilizations worshiped the sun, even some civilizations nowadays worship it. The sun should not be an object of worship but it is an object that inspires awe. But with all that, we still take it for granted.

I’ve had the privilege of seeing the Aurora Borealis display twice. Once was a short display in Maine. I was driving home late at night after a class in Portland. I was on a long stretch of road and I could see up ahead that there was a strange red in the sky, even though it was long past sunset. I pulled over at a wide span in the breakdown lane and got out of the car. I was treated to a wonderful display of the lights, in reds and blues. It looked like a curtain waving.

On the other occasion, I was on an ice-breaking ferry in Labrador. It was in the middle of the night, but we were about to enter a port so everyone was up and awake. A French-Canadian gentleman became excited and pointed to the low horizon, gesticulating and urging his girlfriend to look. After a moment or two, the sky popped. A cracking sizzled in my ears and a gorgeous curtain of greens lit up the sky. I was wowed, awed, and amazed at the colors, but especially the sounds. It sounded like a harp was being played that had strings of electricity. The lights are ethereal, and I felt privileged to see the results of the solar flare’s effect on earth.I mean, it’s not every day you get to see ions light up.

Sunrise at Miami’s Government Cut, on the way to the Bahamas

People love the sun so much, and its appearance and disappearance each day is always a source of anticipation, relief, and joy. Sunrises and sunsets are eagerly watched and remarked on. Sunsets are cause for parties in Key West, Naples Florida and other locations where there is warmth, beaches, and coolers. For I while I lived on a yacht, sailing to the Bahamas. While I was on watch at the 3-5am stint, sailing through the dark ocean waters, there is never such relief and happiness when the the first few rays of the sun poke above the horizon. The last night watch before dawn always seemed the longest. When the sun bursts over the waves and the first light emerges it seems the same thing is happening in my heart, waves of joy illuminate it and I feel light and happy.

A little-known solar effect at sunset is the “Green Flash.” It is fairly rare. At least, it only lasts a second or two so it is hard to see and so it’s rarely caught. I caught it when I was living in Florida for the winter. At sunset, and atmospheric conditions are just right, as the sun goes beneath the horizon, a green light shoots out from under the sun’s disk to the right and to the left, and then the entire sun is gone as well as the flash. I saw it, my husband saw it, and another guy on the beach saw it. We were so excited to have seen this rare solar phenomenon. It is kind of like finding a unicorn, fabled and mythologized, but the flash actually does happen. The other folks on the beach didn’t believe us, and accused us of drinking. But we had not taken any drink of any kind. It looked like deep green emeralds shooting out.

Green flashes come in two common forms, succinctly described by James Prescott Joule in a letter to the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society in 1869. First, he noted that “at the moment of the departure of the sun below the horizon, the last glimpse is coloured bluish green.” This “last glimpse” flash is associated with the inferior mirage, familiar on asphalt roads on sunny days. It is best seen from a few meters above sea level…”

The recent solar storm with ejected flare has caused a bit of consternation among scientists, aware lay people, and conspiracy theorists. However, damage from a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) is no conspiracy- they happen and they will continue to happen. They will also continue to affect earth.

Space.com muses on the possibilities in an aptly headlined article: Catastrophe Looming? The Risks of Rising Solar Storm Activity”:
“The sun let loose its most powerful eruption in more than four years Monday night (Feb. 14), disrupting radio communications in China and generating concern around the world. But it could have been a lot worse, experts say. Despite its strength, Monday’s solar storm was a baby compared to several previous blasts, and it provides just a hint of what the sun is capable of. A true monster storm has the potential to wreak havoc on a global scale, knocking out communications systems, endangering satellites and astronauts and causing perhaps trillions of dollars in damages. The sun’s activity cycle is ramping up, so more storms will likely be coming our way over the next few years. The sun has grown more active over the last several months after rousing from a quiet period in its 11-year weather cycle last year.”

“But Earth has been walloped by monster solar storms before. One of the most powerful hit us in 1859, a blast that Rutledge estimates may have been 30 times more powerful than Monday’s event, though it’s tough to put hard numbers on such comparisons. The 1859 storm shorted out telegraph wires, causing fires in North America and Europe, and spawned spectacular auroras — the light shows visible near Earth’s poles — bright enough to read by, according to some accounts. If the 1859 storm occurred these days, it would likely have devastating impacts, since our electrical and communications infrastructures are so much more developed. A recent report by the U.S National Academy of Sciences found that such a severe storm could cause up to $2 trillion in initial damages by crippling communications on Earth and fueling chaos around the world.”

Sunset at Naples Florida

We love the sun. We take endless photos of sunrises and sunsets. We admire its strength and bemoan its winter weakness. We languish under its warmth and rejoice under its light. We are awestruck at its auroral displays and marvel at its mirages. But one day, the sun will not be there.

“I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place.” This is an event described in Revelation 6:12-14. Almost a year ago, I wrote about my idea as to the events that could cause the sun to go dark as a sackcloth. You can read it here.

Sunset at Lubec, Maine

This is a terrible event that happens early on in the Tribulation. The seal judgments are the first set of 7 among 21 judgments. The 7 Trumpet Judgments and then finally the 7 Bowl Judgments come after the Seal Judgments. Imagine, the sun not giving its light! Imagine the terror, the clockwork rising and setting as we have always known them, GONE. Just darkness covering the land. It will happen, but…

YOU can be in the light, the Light of Jesus and the glory of heaven. If you feel sincerely bad about your sins, then ask Jesus to forgive them. He will do it. He died on the cross so that He would be the sacrifice, satisfying God’s justice for sin. You can live forever under His eternal pardon, or you can see for yourself what it really means to be in the dark.
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