29 April 2020 Devotional

Genesis 1:1–19; Genesis 22:17–18; Psalm 134 (read online ⧉)

I try to settle, but I just pass through
A rain dog, gypsy
A wandering Jew
All those homes were not ours
Then I slept one night
In Abraham’s field
And dreamt there was no moon
The night he died
Counting stars

from The Orphan by the Newsboys

One of the interesting conflicts in the Scriptures is the human tendency to fear the dark (because of bad people and wild animals). Yet, on the other hand, God did not make the dark to be bad. God called it good.

We want to conquer the darkness. As our cities become fuller (or at least were pre-COVID), the “light pollution” was significant. If Abraham was, for example, a homeless person in Seattle, there would be very few stars to count. It wouldn’t be much of a promise.

If you’ve had any experience away from cities, you’ll understand the magnificence of God’s night sky as created. If you’ve been someplace really remote on a moonless night (i.e., “new moon”), it is even more spectacular.

As the “church” aged, the simplicity of day=good and night=bad developed into a theology that worship happened in the day, especially in the morning to go with the day or morning star (the sun being a symbol of Jesus). Modern churches did develop night worship to a degree, but it has been far and away diminished in comparison to daytime worship.

The psalmist’s very short homage to the night workers at the House of God brings to point the many people behind the scenes of churches, schools, hospitals, and many institutions that do not get the recognition for they are behind the scenes. The night workers at the House of God were not any less important than the ones assigned in the day. It was just that they were not as visible. Did they get the accolades? Probably not. Did they fulfill their calling? Yes. Without them, worship couldn’t happen during the day. The night was just as essential to daytime worship as those who were there during the day.

There is one thing that the night can bring us that day often doesn’t…stillness. Under the night sky, there is often a greater willingness to just sit (or lay down) and stare at the jewels that God placed in the heavens. In that place of stillness and of sparkling jewels, God can speak in that still small voice…and we might actually hear.

Prayer

Father God, through the Word, Jesus, you made the moon and the stars, and all the heavenly bodies. Help us to recognize your glory and love in them. May your Holy Spirit guide us today to stop and just gaze in wonder at what you have made. Amen.

Questions

1) What do you think of when gazing at the stars? What is the strongest memory you have of the night sky?

2) Who are some of the people behind the scenes that you can think of, that glorify God by their humble and hidden service?

3) We often call on people to be humble. On the other hand, there is often this desire to have a superstar leader who is charismatic and often needs some lessons in humility. How do we get to this point?

Pastor Ian

Ian is an ordained Elder in The Church of the Nazarene, and is currently serving as the Online Campus Pastor at