Zach has an interest in astronomy so Les took him to the Science Center. (Also free) Les is working with Zach to learn about the upcoming solar eclipse on August 21, 2017. It will be viewable from several states in the U.S. (You can do a search online to see where it will be viewable.)
They saw a show at the planetarium about the upcoming eclipse and were given visors for viewing the sun. When wearing the visor, you can look at the sun for short periods of time without damaging your eyes.
Fr. James (who is not our parish priest but gives youth sermons once a week for my kids), did a sermon on the upcoming eclipse last week. He had acquired many pairs of special glasses to view the eclipse this summer (which he kindly gave a pair to each family at church) and drew a parallel between the Transfiguration of Christ on Mt. Tabor and looking at the sun. When you look at the icon of the Transfiguration of Christ (below), you can see the disciples wincing and hiding their eyes because the light shining forth from Christ was overwhelming and blinding them. He went on to explain to my kids that the Church is the special glasses we need in order to see Christ without being blinded and overwhelmed. He pulled out his eclipse glasses and began reading the instructions to us – that we must only use under supervision (guidance from our priest) and never look at the sun without special eye protection (we must prepare ourselves for judgement through repentance). It is through the life of the Church that we can see Christ but we must constantly be vigilant and not fall asleep, because we do not know when Christ will return. ~ This talk reminded me of a recent talk I had with my dad as he explained that the people of the Old Testament saw the sun as a sign of the TRUE source of light, and not THE source of light – in the same sense that we see the changing color of leaves in the fall as a sign of autumn, not the source of the changes of the season.
Viewing the Sun:
With dad’s supervision
Correlation between the Transfiguration and the Sun
Transfiguration of Christ on Mt. Tabor
Notice the disciples hiding their eyes from the blinding light (More explanation above)