A Hymn for Eclipses

Apr 09, 2024

Where were you when the eclipse happened in the United States yesterday? My husband and I didn't see a whole lot here in Iowa, but we did see it get darker and we made a makeshift piece of paper with a pinhole so we could see the eclipse shine through on another piece of paper. (Obviously, we didn't make it to the eclipse store before the glasses sold out).

All three of my sisters and their families, however, were viewing the wonder of the eclipse in the path of totality in Indiana and the photo they sent is what you're seeing here on this post. 

Of course, this got me thinking if there is a hymn for such an occasion. Well, there sure is. And while this is a bit late for this year, it's twenty years early for next year here in America and about two years early for those living in Iceland, Greenland, Spain, Russia and part of Portugal. So there's that. 

Isaac Watts' hymn, Alas and Did My Saviour Bleed, talks about the sun hiding in darkness when Jesus, the Creator, died for Man, the Creature.

Luke 23:44 assures us that it did indeed get dark over the land when Jesus died and while we don't know for sure if that was an eclipse or not, those who have experienced an eclipse have experienced to some degree at least, what it may have been like for those there at the foot of the cross.

Watts continues the analogy in the following stanza by likening his humbled face to the sun being darkened by the appearance of the cross of Jesus. This, of course, reminds us even more of an eclipse. 

So while you remember yesterday's eclipse and perhaps anticipate the next one, you can also remember Jesus' powerful and loving work on the cross and pray that the shadow of His cross will always fall on our thankful hearts and blushing faces. 

Alas, and Did My Savior Bleed

by Isaac Watts

Alas! and did my Saviour bleed?
And did my Sov'reign die?
Would he devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?

Was it for crimes that I had done,
He groan'd upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!

Well might the sun in darkness hide,
And shut his glories in;
When Christ the mighty Maker died
For man the creature's sin!

Thus might I hide my blushing face,
While his dear cross appears;
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt mine eyes to tears.

But drops of grief can ne'er repay
The debt of love we owe;
Here, Lord, I give myself away,
'Tis all that I can do.

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