Thought for the week by pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld

 ‘You are dressed in a robe of light. You stretch out the starry curtain of the heavens.’

Psalm 104:2

It seems somehow fitting to consider the stars on these long, dark, cold winter nights. In Scotland, our winter daylight hours are short. Today, we have only seven hours of daylight. The stars are out when we go to work and when we come home again!

Although many of us miss the warmth of the summer sunshine, there is something beautiful about the clear starry nights too. The early darkness brings a quietness to the evening, a sense of solitude and rest. The Bible encourages us to:

‘Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out like an army, one after another, calling each by its name. Because of his great power and incomparable strength, not a single one is missing.’

Isaiah 40:26

What an opportunity for us to consider His creation! Wrap up and get yourself out under the clear crisp starlit skies. He encouraged Abram to do just that.

‘Then the Lord took Abram outside and said to him, “Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can.”’

Genesis 15:5

Do you notice the Lord took Abram outside? When your day is done, the meal is over, the dishes all washed and you’re all tucked up in your cosy home for the night, do you ever consider that the Lord might want to take you outside? He might be encouraging you to look up and see the magnitude of His vast creation. He is encouraging Abram to do something he actually cannot do.

‘And as the stars of the sky cannot be counted...’

Jeremiah 33:22

There is only One who can:

‘He counts the stars and calls them all by name.’

Psalm 147:4

But the Lord still wanted Abram to look up and have one of those breathtaking moments when the vastness of creation overwhelms.

‘The Lord merely spoke, and the heavens were created. He breathed the word, and all the stars were born.’

Psalm 33:6

Imagine, the Creator of the universe being so powerful, that all He had to do was merely speak and the heavens and all the stars were formed. Could we look at this verse in a different way?

‘The Lord merely spoke, and the heavens were created. He breathed the Word, and all the stars were born.’

Psalm 33:6

The Son, the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, is referred to as the Word of God in the Gospel of John. Could it be that as Christ was begotten of God, the very stars were born; such was the joy and exultation in the heart of the Father? When we go outside on a dark starry night, perhaps we will consider the stars in a different way; all creation rejoicing in the Son, the Word of God. He is known as the Morning Star; the Fairest among Ten Thousand! Imagine the wise men had been too tired after a day’s work to consider the stars. They would have missed that stupendous moment of following the star to Bethlehem.

‘When they saw the star, they were filled with joy!’

Matthew 2:10

What joy was theirs because they hadn’t been lazy, drawn their curtains, put their feet up and forgotten about the world. Perhaps they too had an Abram moment of being led out to look up at the stars.

Friends, what do we miss by coming home tired from work, putting our feet up and relaxing till bedtime or perhaps rushing around Christmas shopping, making sure our To Do Lists are getting ticked off? Make sure you have moments when you stop, look up, count the stars and take a big, long, deep breath as you consider the beauty and the vastness of the heavens.