28th March 2011

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star!

“You are dressed in a robe of light.  You stretch out the starry curtain of the heavens; you lay out the rafters of your home in the rain clouds…”
Psalm 104:3 (NLT)

Perhaps like me, you watched the series “Stargazing Live” on BBC 2 recently. It was presented by Professor Brian Cox and Dara O’Briain from Jodrell Bank and also a young lady called Liz Bonnin in Hawaii.

I noticed just how many times these presenters were almost lost for words as they tried to explain the beautiful stars, galaxies and planets that had been photographed during the three programmes. Words like awesome, amazing, inspirational, and awe-inspiring occurred frequently. And quite rightly so, the heavens are indeed mind boggling for us frail humans, who are humbled by the enormity and beauty of everything out there in space.

Travelling at the speed of light (186,000 miles per second!), we would reach the nearest star in 4.3 years, which means for every second of those years we would travel 186,000 miles. A total distance of 25,284 million miles!  At the speed of light it would take 100,000 years to cross the Milky Way Galaxy; the next closest star in 2,000,000 years; the next cluster of galaxies in 20,000,000 years; and at this point we have just begun to travel the universe! Isn’t that staggering? These programmes were inspirational for me and I may even buy a telescope!

Psalm 19:1-4 says, “The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his marvellous craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or a word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world.”

As the series ended I wanted more, maybe you did too? And now as I look back on it my conclusion I think, is very simple. It is summed up in Isaiah 40:25-26 in the NKJV, “‘To whom then will you liken Me, or to whom shall I be equal?’ says the Holy One. ‘Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these things, who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, by the greatness of his might And the strength of His power; Not one is missing.’”

Praise belongs to you our great God, you who spread out the heavens like a curtain in which we see your glory and majesty, and it is awesome. Thank you so much for allowing us to touch the hem of your garment.

Study by Cliff Neill 

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