All of us at some point have looked up into the night sky and have had our very breath taken from us by the spectacular array of “tiny” pinpoints of light which man has for century called “stars.”
The ancient Hebrew word for stars is “kokawbim”. The ancient Greeks called them “asteres.”
Tiny, however, is not entirely accurate. Stars are massive nuclear furnaces which burn with unimaginable energy and intensity. Their colors range from bright blue to blood red and have a variety of differing sizes.
The likes of which we can barely imagine.
Take, for example, our sun. Astronomers tell us it’s an “average-size” star.
If you were to take a tennis ball as the size of the Earth, for example, our sun would be something like an average two-story house. But if you compared our sun to such hyper-giant stars as VY Canis Majoris, one of the largest known stars in the Milky Way, the pulsing, brimming, all-powerful ball of nuclear fuel at the center of our solar system would be a golf ball on the fifty-yard line of a football field, the field representing one side of the star itself. VY Canis Majoris is 3,600 times bigger than our sun. “Colossal” doesn’t even begin to approach how big it is.
We have no means by which to imagine such things, really.
But yet they’re out there.
Don’t be fooled by “average” though. Think just for a moment of just what our “average” sun actually does.
First, it sits there in the blackness of space, almost defying explanation as to just exactly how it does that, hovering, roaring, smelting, churning, exploding and radiating. It provides light, heat and energy for an entire planet of people, as well as a gravitational pull which keeps us in orbit and gives us seasons.
So don’t be discouraged if you’re ever called “average”. It’s not how big you are, but whether or not you’re shining. For God often compares His children to the stars of heaven. And as God’s children, Abraham’s descendents by faith, we are just as innumerable and varied and luminous as the stars themselves, each of us shining light in our own unique way.
While we may seem at times just “average” to others or even ourselves, the light of Christ still comes through us in different ways and brings grace, mercy and material things to those in need, just like the sun.
Just like the Son.
Ok, you may not be VY Canis Majoris, but shine nonetheless.
Like the stars, we are God’s creation, spoken into existence by the word of His power, designed to bring light and life to a darkened and dying world.
The Lord says to Abram in the 15th chapter of Genesis to, “‘Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.’ Then he said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.’”
Daniel tells us that “those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.”
And Matthew quotes the Lord Jesus, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
You are just like a star!
Even the stuff of which our bodies are made – carbon – is produced in the interior furnace of stars. The “dust of the ground” from which we’ve come is made in the fiery hearts of distant suns. Science is just now catching up with theology at this point – we’re literally “star stuff” indeed!
More importantly, though, as Christians, we are in Christ Jesus, the Son, predestined (arranged ahead of time, purposed) in Him before the foundation of the world. The good we do is His light in us.The good we do is the very light which God commands to exist.
And when God says, “Let there be light”, there will be.
This week, the Talon staff uncovers the light of a few of your fellow students here at Redwood and tells you a bit about how your peers are shining “like the stars forever and ever.” Each story highlights Redwood students’ good works and a well-known star of the heavens in a way that demonstrates the truth of Scripture – that we indeed shine brightly to those around us.
May you see the light of the good works of your fellow peers and glorify your Father in heaven, Redwood.
Open Star Cluster M-25 – NASA and the Hubble Space Telescope