I love to stargaze. There is something holy about lying in the stillness of the night and looking out into the cosmos. The universe is humbling. We are so small – even our world and our sun are small compared to the vastness of space. There is unfathomable beauty in the night sky – the orbital dance of planets, the incredible color of nebulas, the cloudy streak of the Milky Way across the sky. If we know when and where to look we can even see the International Space Station (ISS) serenely flashing along the horizon: all of our incredible human ingenuity allowing us to merely graze the surface of space. We are so small.
We are so small. And yet, the Creator of this unimaginable universe knows us and loves us. Psalm 8 expresses the awe I so often feel about this reality. The dizzying beauty of the night sky stands in contrast to our finitude, our brokenness, prompting the psalmist to ask: “Why do you bother with us? Why take a second look our way?” (verse 4, The Message) But God does bother with us. God is involved with us. God has placed us on the earth and given us purpose – to care for and enjoy creation and to worship.
I encourage you to find some time in the next few weeks to lie down under the stars and wonder. Wonder at a God who creates such immensity and still takes the time to know creation so personally.
Tips for stargazing:
-get as far away from city lights as possible
-bring a blanket or reclining chair (stargazing while standing can hurt your neck)
-bring coats/blankets/hot cocoa as CO nights get cool
-bring your patience, it takes your eyes a while to adjust to the night sky
-there are a number of apps to help you know what you’re looking at – like google skymap, which even has a night setting so you don’t have to let your eyes readjust. The NASA website can tell you when the ISS is passing overhead.
Art: "Psalm 8 : 3 - No. 1 - " When I consider your heavens, the moon and the stars which you have set in place " by J. Michael Orr. www.pixels.com
Art: "Psalm 8: When I Consider Your Heavens" by Melani Pyke. www.melpyke.com
Here is Adonai Adonenu by Dan Forrest. Dan Forrest (b.1978) is an acclaimed American composer of choral, orchestral and band music. He is especially well known for this sacred compositions. Listen to this recording from the Sing a Mile High International Children's Choir Festival.