Christmas Reflection: Alone With the Stars
In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son...
Coarse patches of sun-bleached grass poked up at my shoulder blades as I lay on earth’s surface, scouring the heavens. The playground was off to my left, silhouetted against the lighter edges of the night sky. Gently, a breeze rocked the swings. They answered with a delicate jingle.
For the first time in my twelve years of life, I was alone. With the stars.
Hebrews 1:1-12 mentions twice that God made the universe and laid the foundation of the heavens through his Son, whom we know as Jesus. These very stars, the unblinking faithful host of evening, were spoken into being by the One who is Himself the Word.
I remember the smallness of lying there. I remember feeling for the first time the depth of the moments passing, and not just their length. I remember knowing that the universe was not some chaotic bundle of happenstance which was indifferent to whether I lived or died. There was purpose. There was meaning. I was part of something that did not revolve around me, and yet, happily, was not the same without me.
Big thoughts for a twelve-year-old.
I think there’s something to this sense of timelessness I experienced as a child, under the glory of night’s majesty, which resonates deep in us all. And that is why I love the way Hebrews 1 begins:
“In the past, God spoke … “
We can feel it on those crystal clear nights when we turn our eyes upward, can’t we? Or sense it in the tears that blind us at a newborn baby’s cry? Or taste it in the wind on the day when spring finally winks and laughs and overcomes the dregs of winter? That there has been much of God’s communication to mankind before us and there is much all around us. Much is beyond us, but also so very much within us. Our lives can be measured in the length of the moments, but also—oh, may we never forget—in their depth. Thoughts like these are too big for us comprehend completely; even those of us who have graduated from middle school.
And so God sent his Son.
“…but in these last days He has spoken to us through his Son.”
The words God commissioned through the prophets of times past, and through the muted messages of silent stars, all found culmination in the person of his Son.
God’s eternal message could only be rightly communicated in one way: The Word made flesh, dwelling among us.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: When was the first time you were alone? What was that experience like? When do you find thoughts of God too big to comprehend? How do thoughts of the depth of the moments impact your experience of faith?
PRAYER: God, thoughts of you are too big for me. Sometimes, I find myself hushed in your presence, and I feel small. You fill me with awe, and I remember the lines of that song, “How great thou art.” Thank you for sending Jesus to help us make sense of it all. Thank you for putting on flesh and coming to be with us. Thank you for coming close, so that I can understand you better. Let me be content to not have all the answers. Amen.
P.S. from Mark: Kelli Woodford lives in the American midwest, surrounded by cornfields and love, with her husband and seven blue-eyed children. They laugh, they play, they fight, they mend; but they don’t do anything that even slightly resembles quiet. Unless it’s listening to their lives, which has proved to be the biggest challenge of them all. Kelli blogs at Chronicles of Grace.
Image by Tim Miller. Used with permission. Sourced via Flickr.