Is the Moon Dead or Alive?

I love full moon nights. How many full moons have there been in my life?

I am drawn outside by the full moon. I especially love sighting the moon through the branches of a tree, or seeing the moon over the waters of a lake or pond or sea.

Moonlight on water…as Lewis Carroll writes, “‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe.” For a long time I wondered what the word brillig meant, until I saw moonlight on water.

There is something about being under the moon, under the stars, and under the heavens that makes me feel so human, so connected with God. I look up in wonder, in thanksgiving, at the glory of God’s creation.

I am especially moved when migratory birds go by under the moon, calling out to each other, reminding me of our own journey home. That home can only be in God, who is, in words of R. Alan Culpepper, “always elusive, fleeting, dancing at the edge of our awareness and perceptions,” calling us to something more than the usual, the mundane, calling us to beauty, calling us to all things alive.

Beautiful and alive…. Now, I know you won’t argue with me about the moon’s beauty, but here’s a question for you: Is the moon dead or alive?

Let me whisper this to you, because it is a well-known secret: It is alive. It is a part of us, just as the sun and the stars and the planets are a part of us.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,” John wrote. “He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being.”

It is through Christ we are alive in a living universe, and we are alive in God.

 At night when I step out into the back yard, I am often greeted by the plaintive cry of the heron who has settled beside the pond across the street. As I raise my eyes to the moon breaking through the clouds overhead, I thank God for my gray, clumsy friend and for one more thing coming alive through Christ in me.

The world is alive with God’s presence. Indeed, as John has written, “He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him.” But we may know.  We may know him by just lifting our eyes.

–Cedaredge, Colorado, 2002