Sunday, 26 September 2010

The Gospel According to the Moon!

As I write, the moon is full (or nearly full, I'm never quite sure), bright and large. Over the road at the community centre, there's an Indian wedding taking place, which is pleasant enough, but its joyful noise doesn't allow grouch-bag Walker to have an early night.

I've always assumed that in the Bible that the moon was symbolic of the church, reflecting the light of the sun (Jesus) in a dark world, but then I stumbled upon this, which has made me think again.

Now of course, just because something is written on the interweb, doesn't mean it's true, but here's my starter for 10 on why it sounds like a good fit to say that the moon is symbolic of the Mosaic (Old Testament) law:

In the Jewish worldview, a new day began at sundown. It began with darkness.
History kicks off with the Fall - Adam and Eve plunging the human race into darkness.

If the moon is full enough and close enough, it can give you light by reflecting the light of the sun, but you still grope around in confusion and it's nothing like the sun.
Into this darkness God gave the law, a small light that could never itself give life, but could point to the greater light to come - that gospel light of the world himself, Jesus Christ.

It is at the dawn that all can truly stop groping/rise from sleep and enjoy the life and fellowship that the sun brings/enables.
It is the coming of the Son of God that stops people groping around in the own efforts to be good enough, raises them from spiritual death and brings them into life and fellowship with the living God.

Moreover, the moon, like the sun, will one day pass away. The function of the moon, like the function of the law is temporary.  However, the church - the bride of Christ and the radiance of his glory, by eternal decree, will never pass away.  (This is a weak argument, because the sun will disappear too, but Christ is not temporary!! :-S )

As the light of the moon can only partly reflect the light of the sun, the law could only ever partially reflect the glory of Christ, however the Church can reflect him perfectly, because unlike the law, God lives in her through the fellowship of the Spirit, and she is becoming a fitting bride for him. Jesus didn't come to marry the Law.

Any thoughts? Have I missed something? Am I running down another warren? Could it be at one and the same time, on different levels, symbolic of both the Law and the Church the Law passing on the baton of reflecting Christ's glory to the Church in the New Testament age?  Or something else?

Answers on a post-comment :-)


Dove of Creation said...

I'm assuming you're getting the Israel stuff from Psalm 19, but I think the Psalm better supports the law theory.

"Day to day pours forth speech,
And night to night reveals knowledge." (v2)

-The sun is like the speech/word of God (Jesus), like a "bridegroom coming out of his chamber". (v4-6)
-The moon is like the law, giving knowledge to the righteous. (v7-11)

Either way, "the glory of God" (v1) is a pretty dynamic, exciting thing!

Richard Walker said...

That is a sweet observation.

Dave, you credit me with too much. The only reason I had assumed the moon was symbolic of the church was because someone said it once and it seemed plausible. I hadn't really thought about it until, like I mentioned, I stumbled across that website.

Dove of Creation said...

Oh, this is Chris! Did you think I was Dave Bish? :p

Richard Walker said...

I knew that. :-) A mixture of tiredness and getting confused by "Dove" probably meant it came out Dave! :-S

Dove of Creation said...

Aww bless! Hope you get better soon Richard, I shall be praying for ya :)