The Planetarium of the Skies

by Bethany

Relevant Text: Ps. 15:1
Full Text: Ps 15 + Ps 19 + Ps 36

Planetarium | We get impressed when we look at the stars in the dome of the Hayden Planetarium. Yet, we live in a theater that is ten million times bigger and more magnificent and more unpredictable and more thrilling than any planetarium: “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” [1], and we take it for granted – complaining when it rains or when humidity gives us bad hair. In a few months, we’ll delight in the first fresh snowfall of the season and, days later, we’ll complain about the dirty snow that remains. We are fallen creatures whose eyes get tired of God’s beauty.

Training | As Christians, however, we can see the language of nature better than most people because we have trained eyes. When untrained eyes look at the Mona Lisa, they passively receive its beauty and admire its artistry. When trained eyes look at it, however, they study, inspect and analyze. They know about da Vinci’s life, style, era and tools. They are visually acute and perceptive. As Christians, not only do we see the general revelation of nature that untrained eyes see: “Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world” [2], we also see the specific revelation of the written word (the Bible) and the incarnate word (Jesus) that trained eyes see: “The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward” [3]. We see nature’s beauty clearly because we know its Painter.

Prayer | Lord, Thank You for speaking to us through nature without a voice [4] – we see the same moon and sun that hangs over London and that hung over da Vinci. Your beauty crosses over cultures and over time. Train our eyes by Your Word to delight in Your visual revelation. Amen.

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[1]Ps. 19:1-2 NIV 1984 | [2] Ps. 19:4 NIV 198 | [3] Ps. 19:7-11 NIV 1984 |
[4] See Ps. 19:3 (“There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.” NIV 1984)  |  [FN] Some ideas were adapted to New York from Piper’s sermon, Sky Talk (1980).
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2 Comments to “The Planetarium of the Skies”

  1. Lynn,I’ve been away from UCL for a little while. Not by dgsein it’s just the way life has been the last couple of months. But I come back and read the last three posts from you and can feel such a change in your writing; your heart and mind seem to be finding such a warm embrace, with your thoughts and words just dripping with raw and unfiltered feeling and love. It is absolutely beautiful.Aquarius Ranch looks like it rocks in so many ways. Could that stained glass image be any cooler?!May the feelings you experienced here stay close to you and nurture you further. Be well!

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