Star of wonder
Star of light
Star with royal beauty bright
Guide us to thy perfect light.
Looking up and out is fundamental to Christian mission. When we imagine people engaged in prayer and reflection we often think of the search for stillness and silence, closing our eyes and folding our hands, becoming inward looking and focused as we dig down inside ourselves for God. Yet prayer and reflection can be the opposite as well, an opening of our eyes to become more aware, more connected with the universe around us, more aware of the needs of our fellow human beings in our communities and neighbourhoods and of our place in a stupendous creation.
Ancient peoples looked up at the stars and sought to make sense of what they saw there. Moving stars they called planetes, the wanderers, because they seemed to be moving about among the fixed stars. Now we know these are the planets of the solar system. People used their eyes to distinguish the brighter from the dimmer stars and joined their dots of brightness
to imagine them as images, people, animals and things: the names of constellations. The seemingly random arrangement of lights became accessible, nameable, so that any new thing could be noticed. And if they saw something new, those people, the ones who looked up and out, would ask: what is that doing there?
How will you be looking up and out in 2021?
Are you seeing anything new – why is it there?
Almighty and everlasting God, creator of time and space of season and epoch, of birth and evolution of both living creatures and galaxies alike, hear us as we humbly come before you as we mark our brief passage of time as another year begins. We have heard the Christmas story, about how you came to live among us. As we try to understand what this means in our lives we pray that you will guide our life journeys.