An analemma is the result of a year-long series of photographs of the
sun, taken one week apart at exactly the same minute every week. A
certain day and a specific time must be set aside each week for one
whole year to take each shot and the process cannot be hurried or
However, there are not fifty-two separate photographs. Instead, all fifty-two images are on one negative so that when it is developed, it is a single picture of fifty-two shots outlining the sun’s apparent path for the year. It is not seen as one straight line but rather as an elongated, tilted, figure eight made of a large loop and a much smaller one. In the Southern Hemisphere it comes out as a smaller loop on the lower side and a large loop above it. In the Northern Hemisphere, it is the other way round.
I recently held in my hand the completed snapshot of the sun’s pathway for one whole year taken by my husband. It is an awesome image, probably the first of the Southern Hemisphere and it represents a journey of millions of miles through space, travelling at something like eighteen miles a second.
Of course, the sun is accompanied on its journey by the earth, the moon and the planets that belong to the system so it is a ‘family’ journey. Each member of the family can observe all the others at various times and stages although these family members are not on the photograph.
It is almost as though the sun has said to its family of followers, "There is no darkness where I am and you take on my identity as we travel together. Even when you are not individually named, you are still a part of me and are my family. You shine with my light, we travel the same single pathway, and you will never travel alone."
So the picture of the analemma I hold in my hand is a Sunburst Bible. It tells me I travel in light, on a single pathway, and I am one of a family. I shine with the light of Another and He who is my identity says "I will never leave you or forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5).
Are you ready for a Sunburst journey, too?