Last Sunday evening we held our sunset service, as we always do, and, because the seasons are changing, it was darker than it had been. It was dark to the point that I could hardly see the words in front of me and I paused and asked for more light. As the service went on it got lighter somehow and, when we ended with the elm dance I looked up and could clearly see why. The stars. Wow the stars were out and they were glorious. Australia really does do great skies, doesn’t she? They’re huge and vast and remind me of just how small I really am. And as I look up, so I find myself thinking about who else is under that same sky – you know? That same sun, that same moon, it’s the one that my family are under; it’s the one that Abram stood under with God in our first reading; it’s the one that rises and sets over the Ukraine; it’s the one that shines through the metal mesh that tries to block it out at the prison that holds out refugee friends; it’s the one that God called into being at the dawn of time. Isn’t that remarkable? Isn’t that amazing? The same moon, the same sun, the same stars. Huge, vast, and we, so small.
Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them, the Lord said to Abram.
I wonder if Abram felt that sense of smallness, insignificance almost, in the best possible way. God is vast, the heavens are vast, and here am I, just a tiny speck. A tiny one, but not a forgotten one.
In the light of that enormity, and our tiny-ness, I wonder if words are useful. What is the best response to the God who made more stars than we could ever count?
So, I would like to do something different here. For a few minutes I would like to invite you to sit, in stillness and silence, and allow your heart to look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.
Consider the enormity of the God we serve.
Look up and know that this space and this time – you, your descendants, all you are carrying, the weight of the world in this current time, all our fears and anxieties – all of it is held by the God of the heavens.
Maybe it is a relief to feel suitably small?
I believe that we shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living…and the Lord reckoned that to us as righteousness. Amen.