Sunday, 12 March 2017

Sister Moon


SUNDAY MARCH 12th 2017 

This evening the moon was full and beautiful over Warley Woods. Here in this image it seems to be caught in the upper branches of the tall beech trees at the top of Barclay Road. Sister Moon is what St Francis called it, in his Canticle of the Creatures:

Most High, all powerful, good Lord,
Yours are the praises, the glory, the honor,
and all blessing.
To You alone, Most High, do they belong,
and no man is worthy to mention Your name.
Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures,
especially through my lord Brother Sun,
who brings the day; and you give light through him.
And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendor!
Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.
Praise be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon
and the stars, in heaven you formed them
clear and precious and beautiful.

In the light of the moon things can seem simpler and radiant. As a child I used to love to run in the moonlight, for it felt like I'd become more fleet of foot. Somehow it was liberating. It felt like I was flying, even. When something is beyond our control - like the moon and the sun - it is easier to have an attitude of letting go and letting be.

I have been thinking about the song of that name. Paul McCartney wrote 'Let it be' in the days running up to the break-up of The Beatles in 1970. It was the title of their last album and was released a month after he decided to go solo. In the song he tells of his mother, Mary, coming to him speaking the wisdom of 'letting things be'. He tells the story that his mother, who had died 10 years earlier when he was just 14, came to him clearly in a dream when he was in a state of great anxiety about the future. The dream brought him a state of tremendous peace. John Lennon reportedly hated the song. He thought it had Christian undertones. McCartney said fans could read what they wanted into the lyrics - many thinking that 'mother Mary' is Mary mother of Jesus.

When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom
Let it be.

And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom
Let it be.

Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be.
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.

In the moonlight, perhaps you could whisper prayers of wisdom. Ask the God of all things to have control. Let it be, let it be, let it be.


  1. The moon reminds me of Kenya. Back in the early 1980s I was very fortunate to go to Kenya for 3 weeks to visit my sister who was volunteering for the Church Mission Society. For 3 years she lived amongst the Kikuyu people, up in the hills, in the beautiful African red soil countryside, and worked as a teacher in the small local school at Karingu. In Kenya the sun rises at 6am and sets at 6pm. It was so regular and predictable that you could almost set your watch to it. Sun set quickly and, soon, dark enveloped the area. Inside the home, with no electricity, we had a couple of small oil lamps to use to give us some light for the evening. But outside it was black except for the light of the moon. The African night sky is truly a wonder to behold. Stars splatter the view and it was the first time I have seen the Milky way in all its splendour. It is awesome, reflecting the majesty and glory of God the Creator. And when we walked at night we had moon shadows.

    Here in the UK, the lights of the cities remain on throughout the night so that it never is truly black at night. This light pollution is affecting wildlife. I learned recently that moths are confused and think it is still daytime and are attracted to street lights, becoming easy prey to predators. Light at night time is making some animals change their natural behaviour. We are damaging the environment. That is why it is worth listening to the encouragement to mark Earth Hour on 25th March, and turn your lights off between 8.30 - 9.30pm. Maybe go for a moon lit walk and see if you have a moon shadow.

  2. When my daughter was very little, she loved the moon.
    " Moonie!" she cried, every time she saw it, it's big round face following her everywhere she went.
    " Moonie loves me, doesn't he mum? " she exclaimed, enthralled by the way the moon travelled by her window in the car and returned back home with her, or followed her in the skies as she walked on the earth below.
    One day she realised the moon disappeared in the day.
    " Where has Moonie gone?"
    "He's still there,"I replied. "You just can't see him."
    So it is with God. He's always there. We just can't see Him.

    Neh 9:6
    You alone are the LORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.

    Jer 32:17
    "Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.

    Psalm 104:24
    How many are your works, LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.