Monday, August 25, 2008

A Stellar Performance

“Ye stars! which are the poetry of heaven!” ~Lord Byron

“How lovely are the portals of the night, when stars come out to watch the daylight die.” ~Thomas Cole

Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.” ~Philippians 2: 14-16

If there is one thing I miss living in the “big city,” it is the stars. I don’t mean those on the order of Paris Hilton and Tom Cruise. I don’t care how “hot” they are, they will never match the intensity of the flaming balls of burning gas flung into space some millennia ago by the Creator.

Sometimes I sit outside at night in the hammock and peer up into the sky. It’s true that if you sit long enough, your eyes will adjust, especially if the flood light on the school next door is burned out. Still, you can’t help but recognize that you are only perceiving a fraction of what’s really out there.

But, drive 20 miles west of town and voila! Millions of points of light decorate the heavens.

I have long been familiar with God’s covenant with Abram. As part of the deal, God “… took him outside and said, ‘Look up at the heavens and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.’ Then he said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.’” ~Genesis 15:5

I don’t think he meant that his descendents would be burning orbs of hydrogen and helium. He was referring to the number of stars Abram could see. And think about it – it would not have taken a long hike to get away from the few campfires, and his view would have been completely unencumbered by neons, fluorescents, and incandescents. Imagine the numbers of stars he would have seen. I am certain that God chose a clear night to make his point.

I heard a Rich Mullins song the other day that I have heard many times. You know how sometimes you stop and really listen to lyrics and something you never noticed jumps out at you? Well, the song, “Sometimes by Step,” includes the following line. I suggest you really take it in …

“Sometimes I think of Abraham, how one star he saw had been lit for me.”

Now, I don’t have any idea whether or not God literally placed one star in space for every person who would ever call him Lord. But, the line gave me cause to stop and consider again that God had me in mind from the beginning. Perhaps it was that on Day 4 God pulled out a large mixing bowl. After he whipped up a bunch of star batter, he grabbed his Stellar Scoop and started digging in, but instead of placing them on celestial cookie sheets, he threw them to the far corners of the universe.

This one’s for Abraham … there goes one for Moses … and here’s Daniel’s!

James and John … my dear friend Paul … Mary … and yes, even Martha gets one.

Martin Luther … Adoniram Judson … William Wilberforce … Cameron Townsend!

Ah, this makes a great Billy Graham star! And this one’s perfect for __________ …

Insert your name there and read it again. Can you see it? God is flinging the stars into space.

God is celebrating you.


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(Updated 13 April 2013)