Blogs # 375 Stars
I remember back in 1957 when I was assigned as Pastor in our Glenmary Mission in Sunfish, Kentucky, During my first week in residence there I walked out one night about ten o'clock down the road that leads to the only highway that runs through the town. It was our own private road with no street lights and no house on either side of the road. I looked up at the sky and was amazed. It was a clear night and it seemed I could see thousands of stars in the sky.
We sometimes take the stars for granted. Sometimes we just don't get around to paying them much attention. In big cities and towns larger than Sunfish, there are so many other lights competing
with the light of the stars. If we do look up at the sky it is a dramatically different experience from the one you get on a clear night in Sunfish. Every once in a while I call to mind my experience with the stars in Sunfish and it renews my response of adoration and awe for God the awesome creator of each and all the stars spread across the night skies throughout the universe. What proofs they are of God's power and wisdom! The facts we know of them from science are unimaginable. I'll share a few of them with you here.
The sun is a star. And it is hot! We could hold a burning match an inch or two from our hand all day and it wouldn't burn us. But the sun is hot enough to blister fair skinned people in just an hour or so, from a distance of 93 million miles. The sun throws out energy worth $1,000,000,000,000,000,000 every second. If we had to pay some power Company for the light received by the earth daily from the sun, the bill would make the national debt compared to it look like the price of a loaf of bread.
The sun speeds along on its course at twelve miles per second. Many stars are faster. The fastest has been clocked at 625 miles a second - over 2,000 miles an hour! The sun is a bright star. But the star we call Doradus is about 316,000 times as bright. Then there is the star called Sirius. If it were as near to us as the sun, it would give the earth 26 times as much light and heat as does the sun.
The sun is may times as large as the esarth. But the star called Betelguess is far larger - about 300,000,000 miles wide! Big as hey are, and bright, and moving at such speeds, the starts seem to be twinkling specks of light, standing still in the sky. They even serve as signposts for navigators at sea. To the naked eye, their positions seem the same. century after century. Why? The answer is distance.
Distances with regard to the stars are not measured in feet or yards, or even miles, like the distance to work and school, or to this or that friend's house here below. Distances to the stars are measured by light years - the distance light travels in a year, at the rate of 186,000 miles a second! That mesans 11,000,000 miles a minute and 5,800,000,000,000 - almost six trillion - miles a year. That speed would take us aound the earth seven times between two heart beats! Going at this speed - the speed of light - it would take us - hold your head! - four years to go to the stsar called Alpha Cantauri, one of the nearer big stars!
The power that is creating all of this is the power of God. The wisdom that directs it all is the wisdom of God. The goodness that gives it all is the goodness of God. The Word of God, Emmanel, God-Among-Us, like us in all but sin, has revealed the Creator of all that exists, every star that shines in the heavens, is our Father Who loves us as He loves Jesus, His beloved Son, inviting us to discover and respond to Him with unconditional trust and total move. Seeing the stars over Sunfish, Kentucky even for a single night many years ago and remembered now, is reason enough to follow the lead and command of Jesus to love God our Father above any other love I have or will ever have in the years to come.