A collection of past contributions…
Recently a www.spaceweather.com article announced the arrival again of the “Lyrid” meteor shower. The meteors are actually debris from comet “Thatcher”, and they don’t really “arrive” on earth, the earth passes through Thatcher’s debris cloud. The moon’s brightness often obscures all but the brightest meteors, but it’s still fun to watch for them. Just to be out there at night or early morning and seeing all the stars, and being able to pick out the Milky Way swath across the sky, is fascinating.
It is a privilege and a unique opportunity when we observe a meteor or witness an aurora. A privilege because these are not common events, and a unique opportunity to praise God for the beauty of His creation. We may be the only human to observe this particular event, so we would be the only human who can praise God for it. That is definitely special.
Individual meteors are random in that they do not follow a pattern of frequency or intensity.
Putting two events in the Bible together then, we can see an example of God’s infinite wisdom and sovereignty. The two events are day four of creation, when God made the stars and many other heavenly bodies, and the other event is the “star” the Wise Men from the East saw announcing Christ’s birth. (Matthew 2:2)
According to Genesis 1:14, “Then God said, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years’.” (NASB)
Note it includes for “signs”. That means that way back at creation God arranged for there to be a unique “star” at just exactly the right time beginning its journey light years away from earth, to arrive at earth over the Persian sky when these guys happened to be looking up! That is awesome! But then, God is awesome! Certainly worthy of our praise!
Image thanks to Joe Lefevre, www.joelefevrephotography.com.
With all of the other gentile students at George Washington High School in Philly back in the 60’s. we were happy when Jewish holidays rolled around. That’s because about 40 percent of the student body was missing, making it hard to follow the regular curriculum schedule. Life was easy on Jewish holidays!
With so many Jewish friends I got to learn more about Judaism. One good friend, Mark, kindly invited me to
Without Passover we wouldn’t have Easter. The “Last Supper” was actually a Passover meal, and when Jesus spoke of the wine being the “new covenant” in His blood, He was giving Passover a whole new significance that probably surprised His disciples.
Every place setting in a Jewish Passover meal has a small cup for wine. That cup will be filled four times during the ceremonies. Once for each of the parts of God’s redemption described in Exodus 6:6-7. God’s spoke to Israel that first Passover that: 1. “I will bring you out”, 2. “I will deliver you”, 3. “I will also redeem you”, and 4. “I will take you for My people”. Each is commemorated by successive cups of wine at designated times during the meal – four cups in all.
The third cup, the cup of redemption, specifically commemorates the lamb whose blood was required to mark the doorposts and the lintel of each Hebrew family dwelling so that the “destroyer”, or “death angel”, would “pass over” that house. The account is in Exodus 11 and 12.
When Jesus raised the third cup and spoke of the new covenant in His blood, He identified Himself as the sacrificial lamb! He was the redeemer, the Lamb of God, who would take away the sins of the world (John 1:29).
I sat in the same place we had always sat those mornings when we would get together at a local restaurant over coffee. We would discuss various things about the church I was pastoring at the time. The same church would later choose him to be their pastor after I left, sensing I had finished my work there.
But now he was gone. Done. Sitting there alone, that heavy word “Done” returned. Actually done! He had fought cancer for two years, but I had hoped and prayed for more years of ministry for him. But God said no to that. It may not seem so, but God’s plans are better. He is no less good when someone we know or love dies. Jesus’ promise in John 3:16 gives assurance, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Still, it seems profound when that time comes that someone is actually declared “Done” and exits the scene. The world becomes a different place in their absence. And it seems that the whole world should acknowledge that. Yet the morning rush hour is the same. The wind still blows in the trees, and the rain makes the sidewalks wet and fills the puddles like nothing ever happened! No one seems to know the significance of the loss of the Done one.
And we go on. The four-creams-no- sugar coffee is still there. The seats are still there (renovated now). The memories are still there. And God is still there. The faithful God, who in His love made a way through His Son whereby those who are Done can live forever. Someday you and I will also be Done. Those who have eternal life wait for those who are left behind until that day comes. May we be ready.