Purple Moon

“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. And on my servants and on my handmaids in those days will I pour out of my Spirit. And I will shew wonders in heaven and upon the earth; blood, fire, and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and glorious day of the Lord come.” (Joel 2: 28-31)

This passage from the Book of the Prophet Joel, celebrated today on the New Calendar, talks about “wonders in heaven and upon the earth,” including “blood” and a moon turned into blood, “before the great and glorious day of the Lord come.” Here the Prophet is talking about the revelation of our Triune God both in the “first” coming of His Son, which entailed “the sun turning into darkness” at His crucifixion, and the pouring out of the Holy Spirit “upon all flesh” at Pentecost; and in His “second” coming, when similar “wonders in heaven and upon the earth” will be revealed. Fun fact: this latter understanding of the prophecy inspires Prince’s famous references to a purple sky (in “1999”) and to “Purple Rain.” As Prince himself explained, when asked what “purple rain” meant: “When there’s blood in the sky – red and blue equals purple… Purple rain pertains to the end of the world and being with the one you love and letting your faith/God guide you through the purple rain.”

It’s helpful, I think, in our polarizing time, when almost nothing is un-controversial, and almost every topic seems to divide us, to look toward “the great and glorious day of the Lord come” not as impending doom and gloom, but as one we strive to greet “with” those we love, and not in self-isolated resentment or fear or neglect of them; and also in faith, in the loving God Who will indeed guide us through the “purple rain,” just as He’s guided us through so many rains already, into the sunny days that followed. Let us hold on to our love for one another, despite our differing opinions on this and that, and let us let God guide us through all our storms, holding on to faith in Him.