This post is part of the Christian Writers blog chain on the theme of “august,” as in majestic, awesome, inspiring, Check out what my Christian Writer friends have to say about “august” by clicking on the links to the right.
Do you like to sit out at night—by the campfire perhaps—staring into the night sky? Counting stars? Wishing on meteorites? Spotting orbiting satellites? Imagining the possibilities?
For me, sky watching is the best part of every camping trip. We even have special reclining fold-up chairs that are perfect for stargazing. No strain on the neck. No twisting or slouching to get into proper viewing position. Just settle in, lean back and ahh…there’s one!
Although we have become familiar with our particular night sky and the constellations and star clusters it contains, once I get to looking seriously, my mind invariably wonders how the ancients ever decided those five stars resembled Cassiopeia. Or how those three stars possibly reminded them of Orion.
Until one night when the ranger talk took us to a parking lot at Big Trees State Park. The talk was star gazing. We were directed to one single point in the night sky, where, with simple binoculars and a whole lot of patient, minute-movement-by-minute movement, we were rewarded with the delight of finding the coat hanger star cluster.
The coat hanger is not technically a constellation. Rather it is an asterism; a group of stars within a larger constellation. In this case, the coat hanger rests within the Northern Hemisphere’s Summer Triangle. The Summer Triangle itself includes the three constellations of Deneb, Vega and Altair.
He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. (Psalm 147:4)
It’s doubtful that God placed the stars in exactly those positions and named them “the coat hanger asterism.” But God did place those stars in exactly those positions for whatever purpose He had. And He made us modern folk want to look for patterns and find joy in the unexpected.
We can Google stars and nebulae; universes and black holes and find evidence of God’s majesty in the heavens photographed by telescope for our marvel.
For me, seeing a group of stars one night in a parking lot on a hilltop in California brought home the truth of God’s august majesty. The stars, seen through my 10-power binoculars appeared to be no bigger than a quarter. The realization that each star was unimaginably huge, immeasurable light years away and possibly surrounded by its own set of twirling planets, made the majesty even more august.
God is the God of the universe. The universe is august because He is august and it is a reflection of His glory. Everything points to His majesty—even the glory of a coat hanger precariously balanced in a dark summer sky.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father you are the author of creation and your creation is filled with your glory and majesty. Thank you for giving us august glimpses of who you are. Open our eyes to see the universe as you see it and as it is a reflection of you. Amen.
WHAT ABOUT YOU? Are you a stargazer? What’s the most spectacular scene you’ve witnessed in the night sky?
For more night sky fun go to: http://earthsky.org/favorite-star-patterns