The Glory of Stars

July 20, 2016

The vastness of space has always fascinated people.

           

Throughout the Bible stars are used to reference something so vast that humans can't comprehend it. Abraham and Isaac are both told that their offspring will be "as numerous as the stars of heaven."

           

Psalm 8 says "When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?"

           

The book of Sirach in the Apocrypha says "The glory of the stars is the beauty of heaven, a glittering array in the heights of the Lord. On the orders of the Holy One they stand in their appointed place; they never relax in their watches."

           

In 1 Corinthians: "There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; indeed, star differs from star in glory."

           

Clearly, people have always understood the vastness of space, and how it represents the vastness and authority of God.

           

I was 11 years old when Apollo 11 landed on the moon. I was hooked on space.

           

As a child I had access to various telescopes, and I loved to look at the far-away planets and stars. It was thrilling that something so far away could be brought just a little closer through the telescope.

           

I was mesmerized when photos from the Hubble telescope became available. These were photos of the birth and death of stars. To me, these photos give life to the Biblical story of the creation.

           

Human-built spacecraft have visited Venus and Mars and Jupiter and Pluto, the asteroid belt, and potential new planets beyond Pluto. And we’ve had to do it patiently. It takes years for these visiting spacecraft to reach these far off places. And it takes years to analyze the photos that come back. Space exploration is not a quick process.

           

This summer we’re getting mired down in shootings, and protests, and ugly politics. For a few minutes, I just needed to focus on the beauty of space and the fact that there is something so much greater than mere mortals. And that from the beginning we have recognized how vast and immeasurable and wonderful that God-given world is.

 

- Ann Warner

 

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