Denise’s Blog

Featured

The Little Star That Wondered – Chapters 3 & 4

Hi again! Blessed second Sunday of Advent, when churches all over the Christian world light the candle of PEACE: Peace that settled on the holy couple as the fact of the miracle of the Incarnation unfolded between them; Mary magnified the Lord, being with child of the Holy Spirit, and Joseph, convinced of the mystery, took her to himself.

The late Elizabeth Eliott, wife of martyr, Jim Elliott, made common the phrase, ‘In acceptance lieth peace’. We can be at peace in our roiling world as we accept the will, purpose and way of God eternal. Enjoy the second installment of my whimsical tale “The Little Star That Wondered,” as you consider the peace God offers, even in face of life’s tough questions, this Advent!

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

3. Lessons From A Wise, Old Star

Twinkle tried to gather as much of the age’s happenings as she could with her bright young senses, while her class waited on their teacher. But all too soon he came and they were ushered off to the morning’s instructions. Once settled, Twinkle could not help herself, “Maester, what caused the blue planet—Earth, to become so troubled? And what is the Father’s great redemption plan? I still don’t understand.” Her classmates all chimed in with similar questions.

The sage, deeply-burning star, quieted the class and spoke in a tone that was melodious yet somber. “Some of these things are still too high for young stars to grasp. Even us older celestials are still pondering the Divine’s scheme for Earth’s redemption and rescue.” 

Twinkle raised a spark, eagerly indicating her desire to ask another question, “But how? How did Earth go…bad?” 

“Patience, patience, sparkling one…” The Master star gently admonished, and continued with a sigh as deep as a black hole. “Sadly, it was a shining one from among our own council that corrupted the Earth; one who was appointed to a high office, a guardian cherub, one-time singer of the songs of the Lord God, Most High.” *

“Truly? Really? How?” The surprised comments from among the young stars filled the room with kaleidoscopic flashes. They could not imagine how such a thing was even possible. 

“Yes, truly. Yes, really. Yes, sadly.” The Maester star shook his shining locks, which rippled silver and tinkled with the sound of a million winter streams. His beard was an undulating curtain of light as he hung his great head sorrowfully. “I taught him myself how to shine, how to  reflect the Father’s glory. He was a son of the morning.” The young stars held their breath in shocked silence, contemplating the present mighty morning stars that sat on thrones below the stars of God**. 

The grand Maester star turned to a vista of the celestial school room that opened to the over 200 billion stars of the Milky Way***.

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

The scene never grew old: innumerable heavenly bodies sparkled like jewels liberally scattered across the vast satin blackness of space.  Yet all were ordered in their major constellations, solar systems, planets with their associated orbiting bodies,  interstellar dust and comets, plus other glories beyond, in the vast universe. As they all gazed out into it, the teacher suddenly spoke, more to himself than to the class, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer…for thou hast said in thine heart ‘I will ascend into Heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God…I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like… the Most High’” ****

Twinkle stood up and glowed hotly, sputtering “I-I-I bet he was ugly and sang awful…and was the…the worst…!!!” 

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

Turning quickly her teacher corrected, “But no, zealous one; for he was beautiful, way above many, and was indeed one of the best singers our school ever produced! This fact is what tempted many to the great deception. In this remains an eternal lesson for us all, stars and angels, young and old. It is the ultimate folly to trust anything within ourselves that tempts us to believe that we are the source or origin of anything. What we are is what the Creator God has made us to be and anything more will come from Him and will be His best for us. Lucifer foolishly doubted the loving purpose of the Father. Despite all he already possessed, he convinced himself that he had a better plan for his existence, beyond the glory of the Creator, God, who Himself is love.” *****

Startled expressions again issued from the group of young stars as Twinkle slowly sat down again. “Then, what happened, Maester?” asked the Glitter twins, speaking in unison, as they tended to do. Twinkle and her peers paid rapt attention, quieted now by their teacher’s grave visage.

Returning to the front of the class he continued, “It is written, speaking of Lucifer’s doom, ‘Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit…’, for in his bitterness of soul and deceit he turned his venom against the blue orb, the planet the Father had filled with His favor and with creations He called good! A poison seed was sown in the heart of those who were the apple of the Father’s eye. They fell into like doubt and rebelled against the Father’s will. Yet in all his doings the dark one was sealing his own doom; for, as it was written, A Godless pit awaits him!”*****,

A collective groan filled the room, as young imaginations filled in the details. But they all sparked up as their teacher continued in triumphant tone, “However, my young spark-lings, we sing! For He who alone is able to work all things to the highest good, arose in Light. He banished this benighted one, along with those he had corrupted, and miraculously has been weaving all these happenings into His grand and glorious Story, for Earth’s good!” 

The Master star was now excitedly pacing and gesturing like a great thespian on a stage. He splashed light everywhere, flinging his hoary locks over his shoulders with a toss of his head or hand, banishing any sign of age as he continued. “The unlit one and his snuffed company, plunged to where they presently dwell in shadow, awaiting eternal punishment, though ominously, still able to work evil among any of earth’s willing dwellers. Daily they lure the image bearers to join in the deeds of darkness.” 

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

The wide-eyed students leaned forward as their teacher added in dramatic lowered tones, “Yet, even so, now the Righteous One weaves that dark cord into the great tapestry of His Holy making. And the Spirit on the wind of God whispers through the Ages, telling the attentive ones, that it will not be much longer now! One brighter than all the stars of God, and mightier than all angels, is finally emerging like a tender shoot. In ways stars and angels do not comprehend, He will confront that vessel of darkness and banish him, once and for all. The One, who is second of the God-head, will shine His light on those walking in Earth’s darkness, just as the Father’s prophets foretold! And who knows, but that we may have a part to play before all this Tale is told! So, come glittering ones! On to our lessons! Let us be ready, should He call on us to shine like stars have never shone before!”

4. Wonderful News, New Questions, and Wrong Answers

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

“Slow down, Twinkle!” yelled Sparkle, as the two made their way home from the Celestial Halls. 

“You hurry up!” She yelled back. She could hardly wait to get the latest on the day’s happenings from her parents. All the neighborhoods of the Second Heavens were a-buzz.” She burst through the entry barely remembering to leave it open for her brother, “Mom! Mo…” She stopped short as she ran into her parents in the kitchen, in an embrace. Her father was fully suited in his travel gear. “Dad!” Twinkle ran and hugged his waist.

As her brother entered, father Starr scooped both of them up and went to the living room. Sitting one on each of his knees he spoke seriously but joyfully, “Children, I have wonderful news! I have been chosen to be the star that will guide some earthly scholars called Magi, to the land where the Holy One Himself will make His entrance on the blue planet!” The joy that burst forth in the Starr family was marvelous to behold, as the little ones hopped off their father’s lap and turned star cartwheels in the glow of their beaming parents!

“I am to leave immediately” he continued. “These stargazers from the land east of where the Lord will present Himself into earth’s time and space, will have a far way to journey, and many deceptive paths to maneuver. They think they are being guided by their calculations and configurations but I am the heavenly light the Holy One has assigned for them to follow, in fulfillment of the written word spoken before by His prophets.”

The young stars did not fully grasp what it all meant, but as they shared what Maester Star had taught that day, to their parents’ affirming nods, they knew this was business that brought great joy to the heart of the Heavenly Father, and that was enough. Except…Twinkle wanted to be part of it all, right now.

“You are a part, and will be even more so, later” assured her father. “While I am gone, follow your mother’s lead and stay in your orbit. Maester Star will keep sharing details that will help you grasp your part so you can play it well when the time comes.” With that, Father Starr bid his family farewell and headed to the Throne Room to be filled with the Father’s Light for his journey. For every star and angel knew that the Heavenly Father was the Source of Light, and that it was sheer folly to think they generated their own. Lucifer was the first to make that error.

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

As her father’s glow receded from their orbit, some of his words echoed in Twinkle’s mind, “…the Lord will present Himself into earth’s time and space…” The thought left her dizzy; her mind cried out for understanding that seemed way beyond her. Yet she remembered that her parents always urged them to seek answers, to ask questions, to always reach for that which is really true. Such seeking, they explained would lead them to deeper knowing of the One who Himself is Truth, Light and the Father of lights. Maester had taught them from the Word that this is the nature of Holy God, to gladly give good gifts of wisdom to the one who asks, seeks and knocks. Twinkle set her mind to seek answers to this unimaginable mystery her father had spoken of. 

The following day, Twinkle could hardly wait to share the news of her father’s assignment with her classmates. When they gathered at recess, her friends, Luster, Lux and the Glitter Twins, Glim and Gloss, were all in awe.

Always the intellectual of the cluster, Lux spoke up, “I don’t know that such an intergalactic event has ever been recorded in the eternal annals of the Second Heavens, Twinkle. Are you sure your father has left our orbit of the Second Heavens?” 

Somewhat defensively Twinkle retorted, “Of course I’m sure! Ask Sparkle..” 

Her younger brother who had just joined the group was happy to confirm Twinkle’s report. “Yeah, our dad is off to lead some mad-guys to a special god-place in the middle of the East”

Lux remained skeptical. “It takes unusually powerful circumstances for a star as significant as your father to become gravitationally unbound…Something like galaxies colliding, or a multiple-star system traveling too closely to a super-massive black-hole! In effect your father would have to become what some call on earth, an intergalactic star or more plainly, a rogue star!”

The attention of all in the little group turned anxiously towards Twinkle, as her light dimmed angrily.

“Are you comparing our dad to the fallen one?! Who do you think sent him ‘unbound’ to the blue planet?! And if you think that’s unbelievable wait till you hear what father said the Eternal One is up to! And I quote, ’The Lord will present Himself into earth’s time and space!!!’” The startled responses were swallowed up by the chimes ending recess, and all returned to Maester Star’s class loaded with questions. 

Luster’s questioning spark was first in the air, “Maester, can galaxies collide?”

Lux was next, “Yes… and why would scholars of the Father’s heavenly wonders speculate that intergalactic stars are created by cataclysmic events?” He queried, careful to not use the word ‘rogue’.  

The Glimmer twin’s sparks shot up too in unison; Glim went first, “Sparkle and Twinkle said, the Father is sending the Son to the blue planet of His love…” Gloss followed up, “Would the Holy One become so small and go to that…well, unholy place?”

“Well, well, well!!! So many good questions! One or two to be answered now; most, many classes away. Black Holes and ellipticals are part of next semester’s lessons. However, here is the lesson to be absorbed by you all today. Even if stars fall, leaving their orbit, or if galaxies collide flinging star-clusters out into intergalactic space, or if giant ellipticals come too close, causing their black hole centers to merge with resulting apparent cataclysms, none of it will have taken the eternal One by surprise nor fallen outside of His great plans and schemes for eternal good.”

A collective sigh was released from all…but Twinkle. She raised a spark.

Maester Star acknowledged her, “Final question before we resume our subject for today, Twinkle?”

Hesitantly she spoke, “Does every star that leaves its orbit become…a rogue and would the Holy One let Himself get soiled by earth’s darkness?”

Ignoring that she had slipped a second question in, the kind tutor spoke, sensing Twinkle’s real concern,  “It is not unusual for the Holy One to ask, of someone He trusts closely, that they ply a course different from that of others. But rest assured, He knows those that are His and that their love for Him will keep them forever oriented to an orbit with Him as their Center. Remember, He calls each of us stars by name, and not one of us is ever lost or unaccounted for. His love will cause Him to spare Himself no limits to reach and rescue the objects of His love.” 

That night, as her family joined the stellar neighborhood in their ceaseless round of worship, Twinkle relayed the days troubling issues to her mother. Without hesitation, Shining lovingly said, “Maester Star spoke well, Twinkle. Your Dad has been asked to do something no star has ever done, and he may well be considered ‘rogue’ by those who do not understand. Why don’t we seek audience with the Most High Himself? You know His ears are open to the cry of all He has made.” 

Photo by Juskteez on Unsplash

Twinkle shuddered. She had always heard of how the Eternal One invites audience with all His creation, even the fallen ones. But she somehow felt unworthy, or like she could not withstand the power of such pure Light as that which emanates from the loving Heart of the Divine Trinity. It would probably be like wandering near to a black hole, like Lux said—she might get overwhelmed to pieces, only by holiness. No, she would wait on her dad’s return or…find another way to satisfy her curiosity.

“How dangerous could it be for such a tiny star as herself to take a short visit to earth? Her mother, as well as Maester Star, had said that her Dad’s leaving their orbit did not make him a rogue star, so perhaps it could be the same for her.” She tried, unsuccessfully, to assure herself. (Cont’d next week!)

Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash

Notes

*Ezek.28:12b-17

**Isaiah 14:12-13

***https://www.astronomy.ohio-state.edu/thompson.1847/1101/lecture_motions.html#lunation

****Isa.14:12-13

*****Ezek.28:13-18

Featured

A Whimsical Advent Story that’s Out of This World

An imaginary tale of a little star curious about the Incarnation, takes us to the Throne Room of God and on an Advent Journey with God as tour guide!

Hi! Happy Advent!

Thanks for joining me on a story-telling adventure this magical season, in the best sense of the word! Let’s take a whimsical journey of discovery about interesting Bible references to stars; fascinating astronomy factoids; and enjoy a childlike story that can lead us in simple reflection on Jesus’ coming, past and future!

Many churches across the globe, liturgical or not, lit the first Advent candle on this, the fourth Sunday  before Christmas. It is labelled the candle of Hope. This refers to the hope of mankind’s redemption, promised from the time of our Fall in Eden, and subsequently prophesied by messengers sent by God. This hope is not a wistful, wishful thinking, but a confident expectation reflected in faithful waiting and joyful anticipation of its certain fulfillment. 
The Apostle Paul called it a ‘Hope that makes not ashamed’. (Rom.5:5). A song we sang in church today even more specifically said, “Hope has a name, His name is Jesus!”—The promised Messiah who came and launched that redemption. The commemoration of His first coming and anticipation of His second is what the observation of Advent season is all about.
Those who have tasted of what Jesus’ advents mean find their heads lifted up in hope as Christmastide approaches and lifted up even physically to the heavens, gazing in wonder at the star-sprinkled night sky. 
This year, our third in Germany, I stumbled on the origin of the twenty-six point star, known as the Moravian star. I was hunting online for a gift ornament and came on this treasure, created by the residents of the faith community founded by a major eighteenth century German, Christian leader of Protestantism , Count Nikolaus Zinzendorf of Herrnhutt, Germany. I smiled as I recalled one of my children reminding me year ago as I searched then, that I have repeatedly selected stars as the theme of our Advent and Christmas observances! Hmmm? I wonder why that is? Seems I am about to do it again!


Thoughts of the stars, and the part they have played so far in telling of mankind’s hope and redemption, have filled my own mind again this Christmas. I started to imagine the situation from heaven’s perspective, specifically from that of an imaginary personified little star. One that wondered about earth, God’s great love for it, and what made Him come down.

Twinkle Starts to Wonder

Twinkle* gazed longingly at the vast universe that God had made and wondered. She glided lazily by in the orbit of her family of stars and longed to wander in other parts of the galaxy of her celestial neighborhood, the Milky Way. “I would give up a century or two of twinkling just to visit that one little blue planet.” She sighed. It was no secret that planet Earth was most special to the God-head and Twinkle had developed a need to know why.

“Stay focussed and keep your glow up, Twinkle!” said her father, Bright Starr*, as she began to drift dimly behind. 

As she got her shine back up her mother, Shining Starr*, came alongside them. “It is the most beautiful of the orbs He made, isn’t it.?”

“It sure is!” Twinkle answered eagerly. “Mom, why can’t we visit the blue planet?” 

“Twinkle Starr, you know why; what was the first lesson you learned in the Celestial Halls?” Her father asked. 

“I know! I know!” spoke up her little brother, Sparkle*. “And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and…and…” he faltered.

“…And the lesser light to rule the night:… and the stars also!”** Twinkle finished, rolling her eyes and glowering at her brother. Turning back to her parents, she persisted, “But do we have to rule with the moon… from so faaarrr away?”

“Our orbits await and serve the Divine purpose, from right where we are, until the Fathers’ great plans steer us elsewhere.” He said.***

“Twinkle, Your father and I long to know more about the special planet too. But we have shone long enough to know that the best place for us is right where the Father has placed us, till His ever-brightening purposes bring us to wherever He has for us next! And we have never been disappointed to see His outcomes.”   Shining ended with a flashy glow. 

“Remember, children, stars that leave their assigned orbit fall apart, burn out, and become a danger to others. The Heavenly Father’s command is our protection.” With that, father Starr concluded the conversation. 

With one more longing glance Twinkle settled back into her family’s orbit and glided on in their ceaseless round way beyond Earth’s night sky.

~~~

2. Announcement of the Ages

The next morning, during celestial hall assembly, Twinkle glowed up excitedly, because one of the great angels had arrived with an important announcement. The special message was to be delivered to several constellations including all the stars visible from Earth’s night sky. Even the parent stars were all gathered in the great hall of the second heavens along with the students. The light of this one, fresh from the Throne Room on the holy Shining Sea, outshone them all. As he presented, emanating God’s holy light above them, everything settled into a reverent vibrating hum.

“The appointed time is near!” reverberated the melodious voice of the great herald, Michael. “The Heavenly Father’s redemption plan for the blue planet is moving into readiness and fulfillment! The time written from ages past, in the midst of eternity, is even now upon us!”

As the realization of what was unfolding filled the heavens, a rapturous harmony began to ripple from the outer edges of the gathered stars and rolled over the Hall like a crashing wave. As it was written, the morning and the evening stars sang the high praises of God together! Uttering speech and showing forth His handiwork, they declared God’s glory and the knowledge of the Holy One as His plan to demonstrate His love towards the small blue planet unfolded. *(Job 38: 4-7)

Obedience was immediate: Hosts of angels, even then, could be seen moving about the Galaxy and beginning to get into place. There were enemy forces, principalities and powers to thwart in their efforts to sway the vulnerable creatures who were the focus of God’s love in the entire created order. There were human servants of the Heavenly Father to be ministered to, to be aided towards possession of the right place in heart, space and time, as the Spirit of God moved upon the Earth. As the issuing of the era’s announcements and assignments proceeded, the angels and stars were so commingled that the little stars could hardly tell the difference between their parents and the angels, as Heavenly glory shone all around!

The beaming celestial beings— the Father’s shining messengers, were receiving specific missions. All was focussed now on the small, beautiful, but much-troubled earth: Those who were appointed to minister on behalf of the Father’s faithful servants were going with messages in special visitations! Other messengers would guide scholars—religious and secular, providing them with open-eyed daytime visions and illumination of holy prophecy— as they studied ancient writings and constellations visible from earth; other messages would be borne on dreams of the night. Finally, one mode of announcement, never before employed and yet to be revealed to the lesser stars, was being discussed in a small gathering of the head stars and makers of heavenly music in the celestial halls. This group included Twinkle and Sparkle’s teacher, Maester Star. Meanwhile, swifter than thought and brighter than lightning, messengers flashed away on their assignments. Stars and angels alike marveled as the plan was unfolded, wondering at the love of the Holy One for Earth’s beings— created in His Image and bearing His breath of life within them. 

~~~(To be cont’d next week!)

  • *Isa. 40:26 speaks of God creating the stars, calling them out like a mighty army and each by name.
  • ** Gen. 1:16 God creates the heavenly bodies, including the stars.
  • Astronomy factoid-“Stars are not fixed! They move in the sky over long periods of time. In 20,000 years the Big Dipper will look noticeably different than it does today. Why? The stars of our galaxy orbit in a plane, or sheet, in a plate-like disk geometry, and all orbit around the galaxy at roughly the same speed. But, just like cars on the highway, they have motions relative to one another. They thus appear to move in the sky.”
  • ——#—-#—-

%d bloggers like this: