Scripture: Psalm 147:1–11
Key verse: (4) He determines the number of the stars;
he gives to all of them their names.
Reflection: Henry Draper (HD) 95735.
Bonner Durchmusterung (BD) +5°1668.
Catalogue Astrographigue (AC) -24°2833-183.
Such are some of the names in that great canopy of stars overhead that delight your eyes at night. Historically, we utilized the Greek alphabet for celestial nomenclature but with 300 billion stars in our galaxy we ran out of letters and resorted to several different strategies including astronomer’s names, location of the star in the sky, and so on. The good news is that the psalmist declares God, who created all of the stars, also named them, though what God has named them has not been revealed. But we trust they are vastly superior to the names we have come up with.
The first and brightest star is the morning star (though it is the planet Venus we are often looking at) and it is a name that is claimed for Jesus in the book of Revelation. It is a powerful and poetic reminder that in the darkest of night, before the dawn yet breaks, we yet see the light and presence of Jesus Christ. In a galaxy more vast than we can comprehend, filled with stars that we cannot manage to count or name, there is one star, the morning star, that shines with us and over us, for us and ahead of us. That star especially reminds us of what is so absolutely true and certain, that though the nights can be long and dark with no end to the worries that plague us and the fears that confound us, the light that shines in that darkness can never be extinguished by it.
Prayer: O Christ, our Morning Star,
Splendour of Light Eternal,
shining with the glory of the rainbow,
come and waken us
from the greyness of our apathy,
and renew in us your gift of hope.
Amen. – Bede the Venerable, 7th Century
Author: Derek Macleod
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].