This morning as I walked, the waning crescent moon winked in and out between spotty predawn clouds. Maybe you saw it too. It’s the same moon here as there. A waning crescent.
The crescents are my favorite. The flashy full phase is fine, too. However, the delicate fine features of that tiny, frail sliver of light make me smile. That’s what I saw this morning. I smiled.
That illuminated crescent is slowly going away though. Each day it’s getting smaller and smaller, until one day, poof it will be gone! No more moon. At least that’s what it looks like.
Yet, the moon is still there. All of it. Even during the crescents. Look closely. It’s all there, the complete sphere. It’s just not terribly obvious sometimes. It takes some looking.
Last Sunday was the first Sunday of Advent. Once again, for those who commemorate such things, it began a time of anticipation and preparation for the coming of the Savior, Jesus. The celebration culminates on Christmas Day. Sadly, for many, after all the hoopla surrounding the holiday passes, our interest in the birth of the Christ Child and even the Christ Child himself wanes until one day, poof, it’s gone.
Here, on these cold, clear, crisp Michigan mornings, the beauty of the crescent moon presents itself. And even though it’s light dims for a time, the moon is still all there. The Good News of Christmas is, even though our faith may dim, the One whose birth we celebrate again, is always here. That’s one of the names we know him by – Immanuel, God with us.