Sunday, December 9, 2012
"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech;night after night they display knowledge...their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world." Psalm 19:1,2,4
Last week I went to the Exploradome at the Bell Museum which is a computer generated planetarium show. Since its near Christmas, I asked the lady doing the show if she knew which star was the star of Bethlehem...I had two reasons: my curious mind and a hope of igniting curiosity in her heart which may lead to curiosity in Christ. She had heard of it, but didn't know any details. Another mom who was with me shared that she had seen a video called the Star of Bethlehem by Rick Larson. In it he "proved" the star was an alignment of two planets, Jupiter and Venus, whereby the brightness from both of them combined made the brightest star. Astronomers now tell us the difference between stars and planets (stars twinkle, planets don't), but to the ancient sky observers, all bright lights were considered stars.
This got my scientific mind excited. Not that God needs proof of His existence and omnipotence, but I LOVE that He has given all of nature to declare His glory. In fact, as I was watching the Exploradome show Psalm 19 kept running through my mind.
I happen to be studying astronomy with my two boys for homeschool. We are all intrigued with this vast universe in which we live, the uniqueness of each planet, the force of the sun and how orderly the whole thing is. It also has really bothered me that something so wonderful has been named after Roman gods. Like God's glory was stolen.
Then it dawned on me, what the gods of Jupiter and Venus "stood" for. The Merriam-Webster definition of Jupiter is "the chief Roman god, god of light, of the sky and weather, and of the state and its welfare and its laws. Venus is "the Roman goddess of love and beauty." How clever of God to use these two planets to make a "star" to declare the birth of His son, Jesus. Who is Jesus if not what these 2 gods combined represent--He is the King of kings ("chief" God), the Light of the world, the one whom the waves (weather) obey, fulfiller of the law which ushered in the new covenant, love incarnate and beauty personified and through whom all beauty is created. This completely redeemed (means to buy back, to change to the better) the fact that the planets are named after the false gods. I like to think it is no accident that it was these 2 specific planets that came together because of the names they carried...all other names/planets would not have represented Jesus as well. (Mercury=a Roman god of commerce, eloquence, travel, cunning, and theft who serves as messenger to the other gods, Mars=the Roman god of war, Saturn= a Roman god of agriculture, Neptune=the Roman god of the sea, Uranus=the sky personified as a god)
God is not mocked and even uses our own faulty understanding to draw us to Him, just like the magi! So I am in wonder at this Christmas time of God's Son and the "star" that declared His glory and I hope you are too!
Here are some youtube links to increase your wonder and declare His glory:
Indescribable by Louie Giglio http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUtuEOA0WD8
Awe Factor of God by Francis Chan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Ya12I036lg
Star of Bethlehem by Rick Larson I refer to http://www.bethlehemstar.net