Saturday, October 27, 2012

Joyous Stars

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Today's first reading from the Office of Readings contains one of those little gems of  nature imagery that thrills any  reader who loves poetry:

He...before whom the stars at their posts
 shine and rejoice;
When He calls them,
they answer, "Here we are!"
shining with joy for their Maker. 

This verse puts me in mind of two things. First, C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia.  In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader it is revealed that the stars of Narnia are rational beings, who after their long lives in the heavens may  come to live down on earth. 

Second, I think of medieval theology,  which explains that the movement of the stars and the planets is supervised by the angels: that God delegates  some of his ongoing work in holding all creation together to his mightiest servants. One can read these words and picture the angels, joyful in doing the work God has given them, shouting out their nightly greetings to their Creator.

Third, every created thing, rational or non-rational, animate or inanimate, truly does offer praise to its creator simply by doing that which it was created to do.  So this scripture verse reminds me of how blessed are the stars, how happy they would be if they were rational, because they do fulfill  God's will perfectly. In this we might well envy them.

Now I'm looking forward to the next starry night when I can bundle up and gaze, with this verse in mind. But it might be a long wait given the next week's forecast. All of you on the east coast will be vastly relieved next time the stars are visible at their posts. Those of us in safer locations will be praying for you.