Stars

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. (Psalm 19:1)

StarsStars. At the edge of the Zumwault Prairie, 4,800 ft. above sea level, the powerful presence of the intruding universe explodes in a symphony of lights. The Milky Way plows its way across the sky from horizon to horizon. The Heavens declare the glory of God! There is only cold, quiet stillness to give rest to the day and enough starlight to see the western mountains catch the stars as the earth makes its slow turn. Silence is only broken when coyotes howl their soulful music to one another or when a lone bull elk bugles its haunting cry.  At midnight in the wild Creation is vibrant and alive.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?  Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.  (Psalm 8:3-5)

Nearly 3,000 years ago David looked at the same sky and marveled that a God of such powerful Creation could even be interested in him. With the vastness of the night sky on display before him, he found it inconceivable. Yet he acknowledged that God does indeed care for men. God has a unique relationship with men. And He speaks to us. The voice of God is powerful and present to those who will stop to listen.

And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us… (Acts 17:26-27)

Since ancient times people from every tribe and tongue have looked into the same night sky and sought answers in the stars.  They concluded as best they could how a spiritual universe influenced a natural one.  This informed their morality and their interaction with one another and their gods. Why is it that we so often feel the need to demonize their beliefs? Why not bring revelation to their seeking by telling them that God has indeed filled in what was missing?

Paul wrote this for every man who has ever stared into the eternity of the night sky and wondered about his own existence. He wanted people to know that God invites them to seek and to find Him. The assurance they seek is not in the stars, but in the One who made them.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)

As Christians, we have been commanded to bring good news to a lost world; an invitation wrapped in God’s grace and forgiveness. But we complicate this with exhaustive syllogisms to prove God’s existence or pointed arguments against the beliefs of others. The first is not the Gospel and the latter is not good news.

Jesus told the disciples to tell people of Him, because Jesus, the Incarnation of the Son, is the way to the Father. He is the He is the exact image of the invisible God. And Jesus showed us that the Father is good, kind, humble, present, imminent, loving and able. Jesus invited people to Himself and offered rest to the weary. That is good news.

When I first heard the good news and rejoiced in it I still had some things in my worldview that didn’t line up.  God was patient with me as He taught me in His Scriptures.  The Holy Spirit, through God’s Word, sorted out the wheat from the chaff; what needed to be discarded and what could be kept. He still does this! Maybe one of the best ways to bring good news is to Trust Him to complete the work He begins in those who respond to His invitation.

About marknicklas

Mark Nicklas is a husband, father, son and follower of Jesus Christ. He is a pastor at Beaverton Foursquare Church and an adjunct professor at Multnomah University, where he earned his doctorate in Cultural Engagement. Like Jacob wrestled with God at Jabbok, this site is a place for talking about the identity of the church with respect to the cultures we live in. You are invited to share the journey.
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1 Response to Stars

  1. paulmetzger526047774 says:

    Thank you for your refreshing reflection on God’s glory revealed in the creation and the Gospel call that we humans matter deeply to God. How amazing it is that God is mindful of us! As small and seemingly insignificant as we are against the overwhelming magnitude of nature, we find disclosed in Scripture and Christ’s life that we are the masterpiece of God’s creation. We are not subject to the Fates, but to the faithfulness of this God who loves us. This is good news, not to be confused with an exhaustive and exhausting set of syllogisms!

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