As I stayed up for the turning of the moon last week, I must admit that I didn’t know what to expect. Honestly, I have never heard of a blood moon before April 14, and the term sent a chill down my spine. I kept seeing pictures of a huge crimson moon on every news outlet and social media platform.
I was excited that I would be able to experience something so beautiful, but I was also terrified at the same time. I can recall growing up in the church and hearing the elders say that we are in the last days and that God would show us signs that the end has come. I didn’t understand what that meant then. I just knew that the world, as we knew it, would change.
So as I stared at the darkening moon, I couldn’t help but wonder, was this some apocalyptic turning point? Was the world destined for wars and famine like none that we have ever experienced before? Could this moon be the beginning of the end?
As I scrolled down my Facebook news feed, I saw that many of my friends shared similar fears while others just believed it to be another lunar marvel. One post that resonated with me quoted scriptures that mentioned the turning of the moon. So I researched the scriptures for myself. The books of Joel 2:31 and Acts 2:20 have similar warnings: “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and terrible day of the Lord come.”
These scriptures struck fear within me. I became so frightened that I no longer wanted to look out my window. I sat awestruck that something that I see often could be the source of such apprehension.
But science has another explanation for the turning of the moon. According to earthsky.org, the blood moon is a part of the lunar tetrad. A tetrad is four successive total lunar eclipses, with no partial lunar eclipses in between, each of which is separated from the other by six lunar months (six full moons). The moon appears “bloody” because the earth lies directly between the sun and the moon, which causes the earth’s shadow to appear on the moon. As sunlight passes through our atmosphere, the light is refracted and sends a red tinted light onto the moon.
I understand that this isn’t the first blood moon that we will see this year nor is it the first that has been seen. But I feel like maybe this time is different. What if it is a warning or a sign from the heavens?
Maybe the apocalypse is upon us. The only thing we can do is wait and watch for what the future may bring.
It doesn’t matter how people try to explain it, whether they say it’s an act of God, or some fancy scientific term like lunar tetrad. I stand amazed and terrified at the power of God and at the majesty of our moon.