Greater Than Galaxies

29 11 2015

15-066

 

The night,

It feels as cold as the near-desert day was hot.

Yet the sky blazes with light

The darkness of blackness cannot blot:

Dots of white silver bright,

Each still and silent to my short sight.

With the prophet poets of old I myself again ask,

“How long, O Lord? How long?”

And then, at long last,

With speed comes the shout,

As stars suddenly startle with lightning:

“To God, Glory in the highest!

Upon earth, peace!

Among men, good will!”

There!

As small as the star seen farthest in the firmament,

Into the village of David the prophet poet king,

Comes the Creator King of all

Large and small

In heaven and on earth:

Greater than galaxies,

The very Sun of Righteousness

Rising with healing in His wings!

“Let us go… and see….”

D.Raymond-Wryhte

 

References

Luke 2: 8-18

John 1:1-5

Colossians 1:15-20

Psalm 6:3

Psalm 13:1-2

Psalm 74:9

Psalm 79:5

Psalm 80:4

Psalm 89:46

Psalm 90:13

Psalm 94:3

Jeremiah 12:4

Habbakuk 1:2

Malachi 4:2

Psalm 19:1-14

(Photograph courtesy of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the United States of America.)

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Merry Christmas!

19 12 2014

Cranberry 2

And the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring good news to you of great joy which will be for all the people: that today a Savior, who is Christ the Lord, was born for you in the city of David.  And this will be the sign for you: you will find the baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.”

Luke 2:10-12  (Lexham English Bible)

 

 Think this in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,

 who, existing in the form of God,
    did not consider being equal with God something to be grasped,
 but emptied himself
    by taking the form of a slave,
    by becoming in the likeness of people.
And being found in appearance like a man,
 he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to the point of death,
        that is, death on a cross.
 Therefore also God exalted him
    and graciously granted him the name above every name,
 so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bow,
    of those in heaven and of those on earth and of those under the earth,
 and every tongue confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:5-11 (Lexham English Bible)

 

 “Glory to God in the highest,
    and on earth peace
    among people with whom he is pleased!”

Luke 2:14 (Lexham English Bible)





The Incarnation

14 12 2014

Glory be to God on high,
And peace on earth descend;
Now God comes down, He bows the sky,
And shows Himself our Friend!
God the invisible appears,
God the Blest, the Great I AM,
He sojourns in this vale of tears,
And Jesus is His Name.

Him by the angels all adored,
Their Maker and their King;
Lo, tidings of their humbled Lord
They now to mortals bring;
Emptied of His majesty,
Of His dazzling glories shorn,
Our being’s Source begins to be,
And God Himself is born!

See the eternal Son of God
A mortal Son of Man,
Now dwelling in an earthly clod
Whom Heaven cannot contain!
Stand amazed, ye heavens, look at this!
See the Lord of earth and skies
Low humbled to the dust He is,
And in a manger lies!

So do the sons of men rejoice
The Prince of Peace proclaim,
With Heaven’s host lift up our voice,
And shout Immanuel’s Name;
Our knees and hearts to Him we bow;
Of our flesh, and of our bone,
See—Jesus is our Brother now,
And God is all our own!

 

Charles Wesley

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Star High, Baby Low

24 12 2013

Star high,
Baby low:
‘Twixt the two
Wise men go;
Find the baby,
Grasp the star–
Heirs of all things
Near and far!

George MacDonald

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The Christmas Star

22 12 2013

It’s Advent, the season in which many people all over the world celebrate Christmas. Even those who aren’t Christian can’t ignore the season completely because it’s so popular. Indeed, many non-Christians participate anyway because the holiday has become so famous as well as festive. (Consider the observance of Christmas in Japan, for example.) 

A hallmark of Christmas is the giving of gifts, and that’s not just an inheritance from the legends of Saint Nicholas of Myra, who was later morphed into the fantasy figure Santa Claus. Much earlier, the Magi brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the infant Jesus on that first Christmas. 

First Christmas? Wait a minute. Didn’t the Church two or three centuries after the birth, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus establish a holy day called Christ’s Mass on December 25th in order to preempt, if not redeem, celebrations either of the Roman bruma (the southern solstice) or the Roman solar holiday Dies Natalis Solis Invicti? The history of the Christian holiday is a fascinating study. Still more fascinating, however, is the prospect that the Magi may truly have visited Joseph, Mary, and Jesus in Bethlehem on the day we now designate (using the Roman name, not the Jewish) December 25th.

To read more about it, go to www.bethlehemstar.net. There, you can consider the 21st-century historical and astronomical research conducted by F.A. Larson in solving the riddle posed by the Biblical account: 

Matthew 2:1-11, taken from the American Standard Version (ASV).

1  Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, Wise-men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying,Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we saw his star in the east, and are come to worship him.And when Herod the king heard it, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.And gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ should be born.And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written through the prophet,And thou Bethlehem, land of Judah, Art in no wise least among the princes of Judah: For out of thee shall come forth a governor, Who shall be shepherd of my people Israel.Then Herod privily called the Wise-men, and learned of them exactly what time the star appeared.And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search out exactly concerning the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word, that I also may come and worship him.And they, having heard the king, went their way; and lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.10 And when they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.11 And they came into the house and saw the young child with Mary his mother; and they fell down and worshipped him; and opening their treasures they offered unto him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.

Larson has employed Kepler’s three laws of planetary motion to look back, with the aid of modern computers, and identify what astrophysical phenomena fulfilled all nine of the details of the star presented in the Biblical account. His charts reveal the triple conjunction (think Trinity) of Jupiter, the planet of kings, with Regulus, the star of kings, in the constellation Leo the Lion (think Lion of the Tribe of Judah) between September of 3 BC and June of 2 BC. His charts reveal the constellation Virgo rising in the sun with the moon at her feet that same June. His charts reveal Jupiter coming to a full retrograde stop in the sky south of Jerusalem and, as it were, over Bethlehem on December 25, 2 BC. Larson explains the meaning and significance of all this in non-technical language.

The deduction?

  1. Jesus may have been conceived in the early autumn of 3 BC. (Could it be this occurred on the Feast of Tabernacles? Consider 2 Corinthians 5:1-3 with Revelation 21:3 and John 2:19.)
  2. Jesus may have been born in the late spring or early summer of 2 BC.  (Could it be this occurred on Pentecost, the Feast of First Fruits? Consider Revelation 1:5, 1 Corinthians 15:19-24, and James 1:18.)  
  3. Jesus may have been visited by the Magi in the early winter of 2 BC (what became Christmas).

Larson provides plenty of details, to include a refutation of the commonly-reported year of Herod’s death in 4 BC. Larson gives evidence that Herod died in 1 BC.

This Advent season, try following the star yourself and see where it leads!    IMG_0791





Echo of the Angels’ Song

20 12 2013

The birth day of the Christ child dawneth slow
Out of the opal east in rosy flame,
As if a luminous picture in its frame–
A great cathedral window, toward the sun
Lifted a form divine, which still below
Stretched hands of benediction;–while the air
Swayed the bright aureole of the flowing hair
Which lit our upturned faces;–even so
Look on us from the heavens, divinest One
And let us hear through the slow moving years.
Long centuries of wrongs, and crimes, and tears,–
The echo of the angel’s song again,
Peace and good will, good will and peace to men,
A little space make silence,–that our ears,
Filled with the din of toil and moil and pain
May catch the jubilant rapture of the skies,–
The glories of the choirs of paradise.

The hills still tremble when the thunders cease
Of the loud diapason,–and again
Through the rapt stillness steals the hymn of peace;
Melodious and sweet its far refrain
Dying in distance, as the shadows die
Of white wings vanished up the morning sky,
As farther still–and thinner–more remote–
A film of sound, the aerial voices float–
Peace and good will, good will and peace to men!

Kate Seymour Maclean

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This Christmas

24 12 2012

Glory be to God on high,
And peace on earth descend;
God comes down, He bows the sky,
And shows Himself our Friend!
God th’invisible appears,
God the Blest, the Great I AM,
Sojourns in this vale of tears,
And Jesus is His Name.

Him the angels all adored,
Their Maker and their King;
Tidings of their humbled Lord
They now to mortals bring;
Emptied of His majesty,
Of His dazzling glories shorn,
Being’s Source begins to be,
And God Himself is born!

See th’eternal Son of God
A mortal Son of Man,
Dwelling in an earthly clod
Whom Heaven cannot contain!
Stand amazed, ye heav’ns, at this!
See the Lord of earth and skies
Humbled to the dust He is,
And in a manger lies!

We, the sons of men, rejoice,
The Prince of Peace proclaim,
With the angels lift up our voice,
And shout Immanuel’s Name;
Knees and hearts to Him we bow;
Of our flesh, and of our bone,
Jesus is our Brother now,
And God is all our own!

Charles Wesley