Saturday, December 1, 2012

Sing Praise to God, Who Made the Stars

Even in today's light-polluted cities, the stars still have power to make us feel small. Psalm 8:3-4 still puts it best: "When I consider 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, the son of man that you care for him?" And David didn't even know that most of those stars are hundreds of times bigger than Earth and thousands of light years distant.

Even today, we try to scale down the universe to what our minds can grasp, routinely crafting science fiction that erases the difficulties of traveling faster than light and balancing the "time zones" of separate solar systems. Likewise, we frequently try to understand God by our own logic: "Why doesn't He do this/stop that/straighten these things out when any reasonable human being would if given the power?" Some people, having accepted that they can't figure God out, go to the opposite extreme and conclude He probably doesn't understand them either--or care to.

There's a Christmas fable about a man who couldn't see why God would become human until he saw a flock of birds blundering about in a snowstorm, and, unable to make them understand that shelter was nearby, found himself wishing he could become a bird and lead them there. Christmas is where we find the balance between our inability to comprehend God and His desire to have us know Him, between the Maker of vast space and the Father Who guards and guides our every step through this world.

This Advent, take time to think about the love and humility involved in God's own Incarnational step between two realities.

Sing praise to God, Who made the stars, Who rules the whole of space;
From farthest galaxy to Mars, He gives each part a place;
Down to this tiny world of ours, He holds them by His grace.

Sing praise to God, Who made the sea, the land, and all that flies;
The greatest whale, the smallest flea, He watches with His eyes;
He likewise watches you and me; and He is good and wise.

Sing praise to God, Who gives us breath, Who guards us every day,
Who will not let us live bereft, but seeks us when we stray,
Who loves us all from birth to death, and leads us in His way.

Sing praise to God, Who made all time, each moment and each year,
Who holds us by His Power divine, and calms our every fear: 
“I’m coming back,” He says, “for Mine, and I will dry each tear.”