Last night I was walking our dog Bonsai and was blessed by a rare occasion of a cloudless night and I saw the stars. Not just a few either, but dozens, and even some of the common constellations. (I must have stopped and marveled at the stars for a little too long because Bonsai began tugging on the leash and whining at me!) For the remainder of our walk together I thought about stars and God's relationship with them. What you'll read below is just a little bit of the brain vomit from that walk.
Stars are an oddly perfect metaphor for hope as the light we see from stars is a delayed response. The closest star, Alpha Century, is a tad over 4 light years away. The little ray of light that hit me and brought me joy left that star 4 years ago. Isn't that wild to think about? But the stars I want to reflect on today are the 3 in Orions belt - Alnilam, Mintaka and Alnitak. These three massive stars (40-44 times the size of our Sun!!) are also known as the 3 wise men. Aptly fitting for the context in which I write this blog I must say! What I find special about these stars is they are ~2,000 light years away from Earth placing us right around the time that Jesus walked the Earth. I think about the wiseman that looked up the sky and saw these 3 massive stars and were marveled by them. I think about Mary, who probably looked up at the stars one night she was feeling hopeless and ashamed and felt comfort from their radiant joy. I think of Jesus who probably saw these same stars during one of his many nights of going off to pray to give thanks to God. Now, some 2,000 years later the light emitted from the star when the wise men, Mary, and Jesus prayed to them is just now hitting my heart and bringing me joy on a walk with my best little doggo. As distant as it sounds, I felt connected to Jesus and felt him to be more real than ever when I considered those stars.
Even in the secular world the stars have always been a source of hope and inspiration. We've long dreamed about how stars represent hope for other life forms and even an escape when this world dies from our climate crisis, like some modern retelling of Noah's ark as we all board a ship as God does a global "reset" for us to try again. I do believe that hope exists beyond the stars, but I also believe that hope exists here on Earth too. Hope, like happiness is something that if we chase it we'll never find it. Hope is not something to search for, hope is something given to us by the very painter of the stars themselves - God. Much like the Biblical characters did looking up in the sky two thousand years ago trusting in God's provisions we must do the same as well. Advent is here yet again. The savior is born to us once more. Hallelujah. Amen.
Scripture to Inspire
Lift up your eyes on high and see:
Who created these?
He who brings out their host and numbers them,
calling them all by name;
because he is great in strength,
mighty in power,
not one is missing.
The one who made the Pleiades and Orion,
and turns deep darkness into the morning,
and darkens the day into night,
who calls for the waters of the sea,
and pours them out on the surface of the earth,
the Lord is his name,
Praying through Praise
Our prayer for today is a hymn not found in our hymnal but seems fitting for today. It's called "Hope is a Star"