“December Moon”

I have always been captured by the moon.

Even as a little boy, my gaze was always directed towards the heavens. Five decades and change, my eyes still scan the night sky. This morning the almost new moon fades into the clouds reflecting the glory of the coming day.

I’m reminded of a December moon when I was seven years old. The first manned mission to orbit our satellite had launched a few days before. Christmas Eve found the crew of Apollo 8 seeing something no human had ever witnessed.

Earthrise.

As they rounded the moon, a nearly ‘full Earth’ rose from the lunar horizon. That image on our flickering television so captivated me. I can still see the waxing crescent shine through my bedroom window. I felt a pang of loneliness for the three astronauts so far from family and home. I can still taste the glass of Tang orange drink I shared in tribute.

December’s full moon is called the Full Cold Moon. It is the month when the winter cold fastens its grip and the nights become long and dark. This full moon is also called the Long Nights Moon by some Native American tribes.

This December is one of firsts and lasts. Come January a new adventure waits to be discovered. I can spout words of bravery here, but God knows my heart. This ‘long nights moon’ is strong indeed.

But I am slave to no one and nothing but my own fears. The moon controls the tide, but the waves that threaten to overwhelm are in the reins of the One who created Earth and sky.

The nights are cold and long, and the moon will wax and wane. The Lord God is eternal, and dark is light to Him. I’m thankful for the gift of this day, and the reminder of the Moon that reflects His glory.