“Why was this bloody world created?"
"As a sewer for the stars," a voice in front of him said. "Alternatively to know God and to glorify Him forever."
" [...] The two answers are not, of course, necessarily alternative.”
- Charles Williams, War in Heaven
It is Sunday, December 22, 2019 - the Fourth Sunday of Advent. This is a day when I can focus on the mystery of Jesus. I can think on the name Emmanuel (God with us) and how some unfathomable mystery in this sewer of stars became a very human story about relationship - truly knowing God.
That relationship, for the first time in my defaulted religious life, has become tangible and real. I’m understanding grace, mercy, peace, wholeness, forgiveness, restoration, and the way God intended things to be. When you come to that understanding in a broken place you start to understand the nature of the Creator. That’s when the mystery starts to reveal itself to you and opens up the door for hope and healing.
I think that there is a universal agreement that the human race spends too much time reading blogs and staring at their phones in general. I’m as guilty as anyone else. When I was young, my parents made it a point to educate us on the location of constellations. I strayed from that practice but I’ve picked the habit back up again and love to be in situations without light pollution when I can bask in that haunted mystery of the heavens. I am not into astrology and believe it is a bastardized faith. I think the stars were a gift from God for navigation, signs, wonders, mysteries. I believe that the moon controls the tides. I believe that our personalities are quite different depending on the “signs” we were born under. I don’t believe you should baptize yourself in the faith of horoscopes - basing your day on what some oddball (like me) blogger sends you in an email every day. I believe the only way to unravel the mystery is through that effort to have a personal relationship.
(For an interesting speculation on the Star of Bethlehem click this link.)
I’ll leave you with a couple of things. First a poem. I fell victim to beat poetry as a young kid and still have an affinity for it. Prepare to read a heart breaking poem but also prepare to have a mystery revealed to you this season. Hear “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord…” (Isaiah 40:1-5, Luke 3:4)
An autumn morning in Shokoku-ji
Last night watching the Pleiades,
Breath smoking in the moonlight,
Bitter memory like vomit
Choked my throat.
I unrolled a sleeping bag
On mats on the porch
Under thick autumn stars.
In dream you appeared
(Three times in nine years)
Wild, cold, and accusing.
I woke shamed and angry:
The pointless wars of the heart.
Almost dawn. Venus and Jupiter.
The first time I have
Ever seen them close.