You see, a blue moon unfolds when the cycle of nature gives us a second full moon inside of one month. Our modern annual calendar is solar, not lunar. This means that it is based on our own planet’s revolution around the sun. Throughout history, other cultures have used a lunar calendar. The problem is that the two cycles do not match up. And that is why adjustments have to be made to calendars on occasion: leap years for solar calendars and/or periodic extra months for lunar ones.
More to the point, it means that the cycles of the moon occur every 28 days inside of a solar calendar that is split between months of various lengths ranging from 28 to 31 days. Thus, one can witness new moons and full moons every two weeks apart throughout the year. And in this complicated cycle, one occasionally finds that two full moons occur inside of a given calendar month. The result is the proverbial blue moon.
And they are relatively rare. The last one was in 2012; and the next one is not scheduled to occur until 2018. This places them about three years apart on average.
To me, what I like about a blue moon is that it represents something happening again a second time around. It reminds me that life will occasionally give each of us an unexpected second shot, a second opportunity, or a second chance. True, this may not happen all the time. These second chances may be rare enough. But when they do unfold, they can be beautiful things indeed.
The Apostle Peter had one such chance. In the Gospel of John, chapter 18, he failed miserably on the night before Jesus was crucified. Given three successive opportunities either to embrace or deny his own association with Jesus, he regrettably failed all three times. So much so that the Bible says he grew angry and even cursed and swore in his final denial.
One can only imagine how badly he must have felt when, in fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy, the rooster immediately crowed. Simon Peter, the supposed leader of the original twelve Apostles, was given the opportunity to assert that leadership role, and failed miserably.
And yet, a few days later (as recorded in Chapter 21), John tells us that Jesus, having risen from the grave after His earlier crucifixion and death, specifically sought Peter out, restored him, and then reinstated him in his ministry calling.
I have never knowingly denied my association with Christ. But while I may not have done so verbally, I cannot help but think that, however unintentionally, however inadvertently, I may have still done so by my behavior. Like all followers of Christ, I know what it is like to fail in my attempts to glorify Him with my life.
But I am thankful that my God is a God of grace and mercy! Just when I think I have messed my life up so badly that there is no hope, He steps in and offers restoration, giving me a new opportunity to shine once again for Him. Thank God for second chances! I’m certain Peter did. And so should we!