“Before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars are darkened and the clouds return with the rain…”

For most of us this phrase seems to be describing the end of the world.  It certainly has the images associated with all the “end of the world”  talk heard in churches.

However, it comes from Ecclesiastes 12, not Revelation.  It is about growing old.  The imagery is the perception of a person whose eyesight is failing.  It is not trying to say that the sun, moon or stars actually darken.  The clouds and rain refer to the clouding of memory and the tearful eyes that brings as one realizes that the mind is not as capable as it was in youth.

How often the sacred texts are used as if they contain hidden codes that will give a select few a leg up at judgment day!  That is not their purpose.  They contain spiritual wisdom that serves all people throughout history.  Don’t get caught up in the misuse of poetic images.

The bottom line of Ecclesiastes that uses this imagery is that, rather than living in fear of what is coming, rejoice and enjoy the time you have for it is all passing.

The sun will keep shining whether you see it or not, so be glad while you can feel it and see the beauty that it reveals.  Maybe, while your are at it you can invite those who live in fear to come out and play.

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