Tuesday, December 10, 2019

"Song of the Stars" and Creation's On-going Song

More than one of my favorite authors writes about the imagery of stars singing creation into existence.

In Madeleine L’Engle’s The Wind in the Door, Meg Murray observes,
We are the song of the universe. We sing with the angelic host. We are the musicians. The farae [tiny microorganisms within cells] and the stars are the singers. Our song orders the rhythm of creation.
In C.S. Lewis’ The Magician’s Nephew, at the dawn of creation, he writes,
The new stars and the new voices began at exactly the same time. If you had seen and heard it , as Digory did, you would have felt quite certain that it was the stars themselves who were singing, and that it was the First Voice, the deep one, which had made them appear and made them sing.
In today's Christmas picture book, Song of the Stars, Sally Lloyd-Jones (author of The Jesus Storybook Bible), paints a similar picture. But this time, it is the stars that announce the Creator. Unlike other animal-centric Nativity books, this one is filled with all of creation welcoming the newborn king. The wind and the sycamores, the bears and the whales, the flowers and rivers, the grass and the stars, all quiver together, saying:
It’s time! It’s time. Get ready! Be glad!
And like Aslan himself, a lion heralds the good news: “The Mighty King! The Prince of Peace.”

There is a new star in the heavens. It is the Bright and Morning star.

The lambs know too. “The Good Shepherd” they bleat.

And when the bright star comes to rest above a tiny bed of straw, it’s as if the “whole earth and all the stars and sky held its breath” to say, “The One who made us has come to live with us.” He is Emmanuel.

What a mystery! That “heaven’s son, would sleep under the very stars that he made.”

Often, when we see a Christmas story full of animals, it is a literary device to help the youngest of readers relate better with the narrative. Here, Lloyd-Jones helps us see that God made all of creation subject to His glory. So of course, at His earthly arrival, it wouldn’t just be pilgrims and kings, shepherds and magi responding to the brilliant display. From the mighty oak down to the tiny ant, they would wonder, “what child is this?”

What can we learn from this?

A few things. But this one struck the loudest chord: we are not alone on this planet. God filled the land and the sea, the sky and the cosmos with His creation. When we don’t know how to wait, we can look at seeds striving to be mighty trees or caterpillars growing into butterflies, and know that they were created to get there eventually. When we don’t know how to worship, we can look at the glorious sunrises and listen to the sweet sparrows’ songs. When we don’t know how to grieve, we can watch a flower lose its petals for a season and then bloom again when it is the right time.

It probably wasn’t December when the first Christmas took place, but with our modern calendars, the end of the year is when we celebrate Christ’s birth. I don’t think it’s a mistake that as the year draws to a close, we are meant to slow down. It is a time to remember, to reflect, to prepare Him room.

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