It was early enough to 'make the donuts' but the hat I was wearing wasn't that of a bakers'. An extra few z's didn't come during the twenty-two minute minivan ride to the Jacksonville, North Carolina airport because bad classic rock on the radio kept my ears awake. It was so early at Albert J. Ellis field that my good FO had to call a 1-800 number to Lockheed Martin (an FAA Flight Service Station contractor) to get a clearance out of this non-towered airport out 'in the sticks'. Jacksonville, NC is a neat area, namely because there are plenty of proud Marines stationed at nearby Camp Jejune, not because of the very flat and forested geography with guaranteed humidity.
We actually had to taxi away from the terminal so that 'Paul' could get cell phone reception that wouldn't drop his call. After performing the "Flaps 8 Before Takeoff" checklist I taxied the jet onto the runway while we performed the "Takeoff" checklist. The mist became very noticeable in the bright runway lights and as I set takeoff thrust I wondered if there were any animals on the runway, none were to be encountered. The mood in my brain seemed to match the scene - foggy a little. Alertness really can't get too much better than that while hurtling down the runway at 5:25 AM. As we climbed out over them, the approach lights lit up on the opposite end of the runway (runway 5, we took off runway 23) displayed through the mist gave a flat, two-dimensional appearance, and I was momentarily distracted from concentrating on our pitch attitude by the complete lack of depth perception.
Off into the black and gray, smooth and still night air we climbed, with the airplane symbol on our PFD (primary flight display) fully tucked into the inverted v-bars of the 'flight director'. Shortly thereafter a quick climb in our light jet to 14,000 feet afforded my Co-Pilot and I a simply incredible view of the 'lesser great light' (above us at our two o'clock position shining brightly). The full moon's light reflected across an undercast cloud layer 4,000 feet ahead and below us. Cumulus clouds grew out of the smooth surface in sparse locations like unmoved boulders in a stereotyped Irish pasture. Two different dark spots on the horizon displayed orange flashes, insistent but for which I'm thankful for pre-dawn warnings from nature to not fly into there, to not fly into there at all. They were off to our left, by the coast anyway, and I was transfixed in gazing wonder about this suddenly mysterious moon-shine. The following is a nice picture but an approximation of the scene we beheld.
From John 1:5: "And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it". You might be aware that this is a reference to Jesus, of course, but I thought it has an alternate applicability here. It's resonant to me in my soul that the spiritual truth of Jesus' light shining through the darkness has a physical counterpart in our moon, reflector of the sun.
Who or what does the moon shine for? When it's hidden above a cloud layer and can't be seen by humans on terra firma? When there's no one there at all? "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." Psalm 19:6 It shines to glorify God, and when I or someone else is there it shines for us, to display His glory to us!
There are plenty of interesting facts regarding the moon, which lend toward thoughts of it's creation by a creator-God, not by evolution. This site describes how evolutionary scientists are 'baffled' in explaining it's origin. The appearance of the moon and it's effects on our planet which help sustain life are just another indicator of the reality behind the beauty we behold: that we may assume that whatever or whomever is behind the creation of the universe is as beautiful and wonderful as it is.
With a 29 1/2 day cycle, the moon is seemingly set in the sky to mark the passage of time, to mark the months. Ancient civilizations the world over have followed the lunar calender God made. Here is a link to the Hebrew lunar calender and a schedule of Old Testament Israelite religious festivals and observances. Many Jewish religious events were observed at the new moon, but two annual ones were set to occur at a full moon, or halfway through the month, the Passover Festival and the Feast of Tabernacles.
The new moon is when it shows just a sliver. Half of the 29 1/2 day cycle is 14 3/4 days, so it is at that point when one would observe a full moon. From Psalm 81:3 (NLT): "Blow the ram's horn at new moon, and again at full moon to call a festival!" Numbers 28:16-17 and 29:12 set forth that the Passover Festival and the Feast of Tabernacles will start of the 15th of the month (first month for Passover, seventh month for Tabernacles, Hebrew lunar calender).
I hope I haven't lost you yet. I'm glossing over a few details, read the links if you'd like to be better informed concerning them. The Passover is perhaps the one Jewish holiday Christians are most familiar with and revere as well. We believe that the Passover sacrifice of the lamb, and the eating of it and the bread is prophetic of Jesus Christ. Here are two websites (there are many) which teach more about Jesus Christ, The Passover Lamb: menorah.org and a page labeled "The Passover Prophecy and the Crucifixion".
The moon shines (reflects actually) His light for me, it does, and for His light I am grateful. It shines for me in the darkness, and in the daylight. It shines for you too. I quote from a many played Matthew West song but it's a great one:
"I love you more than the sun
and the stars that I taught how to shine
You are mine, and you shine for me too.
I love you yesterday and today
And tomorrow, I'll say it again and again
I love you more."
I shine for Him too? Yes, that's one of the many fringe benefits you get in having faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Thanks for reading again, and God Bless you!