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Star gazing! Today's thought for the day on Radio Bristol

28 March 2017, 11.06 am

The night sky is one of nature’s wonders. Star-gazing is breath-taking.
Oh, to be out in the country – I used to go to Toghill farm road, just outside Bath - away from city lights, on a clear night, with no moon. The milky way - a slash of sprayed, white paint, as if flicked from a full paint brush, across the night-blue ceiling of the world – amazing!

Stars have captured imaginations for centuries. Night landmarks too – the plough pointing to the North Star, Orion’s belt, the mystery of Pleiades, to help steer across oceans, and in myth, start stories. In Malawi, or South Africa, the southern cross is a similar beacon.

Awe and amazement also points to something else. Stars help me sense God’s presence, in two ways.

The emotion of sheer beauty – that gives “goose bumps” – shows me the grand designer. I love the sense of wonder at something bigger than ourselves – we are small in the grandeur of things.

And then a thought………. I sometimes get frustrated in conversation with others –many good friends – who can’t see the dimension of faith. Belief, by definition, is beyond reason in one sense. And at night, with a clear dark sky, I ask them to try and explain the distance – not to the stars – but to the space between. That gap goes on for ever – infinity - and when we pause long enough, that is impossible to describe in our three-dimensional world. So maybe there is room for God.

“The heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the work of his hand” says psalm 19.

Star gazing is one way, I think, to see the wonder of God. Then add to that the fact he creates us, and loves us – then there is something more to wonder about……………………

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