Published on October 30, 2020

blue moon

A Blue Moon for Halloween

With any luck, the clouds will clear enough this evening or sometime this weekend so that we can get outside and take a good look at the moon. That’s because on Saturday the moon will be full—the second full moon of this month.

This earns it the nickname of being a Blue Moon (although it isn’t actually blue)—and a rare Halloween Blue Moon at that.

This is the only time two full moons in one month will happen in 2020. It is also a “Micro Moon,” since the moon is nearly as far away from earth as its orbit takes it, so it will appear a bit smaller in the sky.

But wait—there’s more. This will be the first time since 1944 that a Blue Moon will be visible in all the time zones across the United States on Halloween, an event that won’t happen again until 2039.

And this is the first time we’ve ever had a Blue Moon on the same Saturday night as the time change, when we gain an hour as we turn back our clocks. And it is a Blue Moon on the weekend just before a national election.

Break all that down, and what you have is a lot of different ways to give meaning and distinction to a single day on the calendar. They are tracking mechanisms. Ways to mark the passage of time. To be aware. To take notice. To pay attention.

So when you change the batteries in your smoke detectors this weekend—as you know you should—think of it as a way to pay attention to how important the time you get on this planet really is. When you take a thoughtful moment to update your home emergency kit, think of that act as a way to affirm how great it is to be alive.

In Psalm 90:12 it says, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (NIV). Let the Blue Moon be a teacher. And may the lesson be this simple yet profound one: our days matter. You can set the clock back, but you can’t get the time back. Minutes tick by, hours matter, each day is a gift—as rare as an autumn Blue Moon.

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