Today, Monday, June 20th, is the longest day of the year. It’s the June or summer solstice, the first day of summer, and a full moon. It’s the day with the most minutes of sunshine. It’s the day your shadow is its smallest. It’s when the midday sun is the highest of the entire year.
The sun was expected to rise this morning at 4.45 am and is expected to set at 10.34 pm, thus giving us approximately 17 hours of daylight.
The summer solstice marks the exact time when the sun is furthest north in the sky, directly above the Tropic of Cancer. For those of us in the northern hemisphere this means the sun’s path stops moving northward in the sky and the days begin to slowly shorten.
A little fun fact for you.
If you aren’t witnessing today’s astronomical events in Oklahoma, and are perhaps viewing our skies from across the pond, it’s the only day of the year that the rising sun reaches the middle of the stones at Stonehenge, the prehistoric stone monument in Wiltshire, England, and shines on the central alter.
Today’s full Moon is quite special. We haven’t experienced a full moon on the summer solstice since 1967. It was actually early this morning, but it should look equally full tonight. Today’s Full Moon didn’t just rise as the Sun set, but is opposite the Sun in all other ways as well. The Sun reaches its highest so this Moon must be its lowest. This forces its light through denser air, which tends to be humid this time of year, and the combination typically makes it amber colored, thus the name, Honey Moon.
Did you know that the summer solstice also supposedly marks the birthday of John the Baptist? It occuured opposite the birth of Christ in the December or Winter solstice. Just like the summer solstice’s longest day ushers in the days beginning to shorten, we know John the Baptist’s need to decrease as he ushered in the birth of Jesus.
It is remarkable to me how anyone could not believe in a God that created our world with such intricate details as these. As you go about your longest day today, I encourage each of you to spend a moment of your time thanking our God for His creation. For all the details He provides us. Then make a conscious effort to decrease your self so Christ can increase in you. After all from today forward our days too will shorten. You can only have one “longest day”. 🙂
He must increase, but I must decrease.”
Love and laughter,