Evangelicals have typically responded in one of two ways to the recent hype over the so-called “blood moon.” Some are convinced the heavens are “God’s billboard”, to quote Texas pastor John Hagee, and that the lunar eclipse is a clear sign of fulfilled prophecy pointing to the end of the world. Others are amazed at the wonder of God’s creation but do not tie apocalyptic language to the astronomical event known as the tetrad – four consecutive and complete lunar eclipses occurring at six month intervals.
I believe there is a middle way for evangelicals to consider and engage in the discussion. One the one hand, I do not think it is helpful or biblical for us to gaze into the heavens with various predictions in mind. The signs depicted in Scripture are not given to Christians so that we can provide apocalyptic forecasts for God’s end time activity. They are given to assure Christians of Christ’s imminent return and to call us to faithful Great Commission work. On the other hand, I do not think Christians should simply brush aside or avoid the discussion all together, especially in the context of real life relationships. Instead, and as a middle way, perhaps we should apply a Deuteronomy 6 hermeneutic to the fervor over these lunar eclipses.
Deuteronomy 6, or the “Shema”, teaches Christians to place every moment, whether it is when we rise, fall asleep, or “walk by the way” in the context of teaching moments. Although this passage speaks specifically to children, the principle is universal for all ages and relationships. Of course, as we “walk by the way” we will see things like a lunar eclipse. Although we should not pretend to know God’s specific intentions when he works through nature, we can nevertheless be certain that it is God who is working. And that is worthy of conversation.
So, instead of rushing to purchase John Hagee’s book on end times, remind yourself that Christ is certainly coming again and his return demands we be found busy, not gazing into the heavens. Use the “blood moon” as a means to move the conversation to Christ and his atoning work on the cross. Speak of the real blood that was drawn from Emmanuel’s veins. And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.