The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.
I have spent a lot of time in my life looking up at the heavens. In each season, there are fresh wonders to be seen. Rainbows. Sunsets. Sunrises. Storms. I live in an area blessed by some vibrant and incredible sunsets. And the clouds. . . so much variety in the various types and shapes. I love the fluffy-looking whites, the ominous grays that tell of an approaching tempest, and all the in-betweens. I have even seen a wispy cirrus cloud sporting the colors of the rainbow; a lovely blending of two distinct natural phenomena:
And that is just the daytime! I also adore the cold, crystalline beauty of the starry nights and the moon as she pivots through her monthly dance; now shy and shrinking, now flinging aside her veil to stare down on us in saucy elegance. Each time I gaze upward toward the vast blackness of the night sky, I find myself wondering what I do not see because of the modern phenomenon of electric light; wonder what my ancestors saw when they gazed upon the same heavens. I hear the skies of old described and wish I could see the whitish smear of the milky way and the uncountable twinklings of every size of star on the velvet canopy above. The depths of space are somewhat masked by the technology of today.
They are masked in more ways than one. It also seems to me that for many of us it is harder to sit and contemplate the distant glow of the heavenly bodies as they perform their intricate but oh-so-languid dance when there is such a riotous and rowdy visual cacophony of twinkling, blinking, and flashing gadgetry down here to rivet our attention. We have no time for dreadfully slow and stately march of the luminaries, no patience for picking out the vague constellations. Or we have time, but our devices and the lure of HD snags our attention yet again. We glance, but we do not sit in silence and solitude, wondering, dreaming. It is not just the ability to view the heavens that has dimmed in the present age; it is the knowledge of what is there that has been eclipsed as well.
Even so, I am sure that there are signs there, unseen though they may be. God’s Word states in its very first chapter that the stars, moon, and our sun were put into place “for signs and seasons, and for days and years.” Jesus, too, talks of the sign of the Son of Man appearing in the heavens (Matthew 24:30) and of “signs in the sun, moon, and stars” in the last days (Luke 21:25). We know that around the time of His birth, there were wise men from the East saw the star of the Messiah and came to worship him (Matthew 2:1-2) , and Revelation chapters 12 and 15 both refer to signs in the sky.
And so I find myself as I gaze upward wondering… what am I missing? What signs of the age are up there, written in the skies for all to see, but lost to me because of my ignorance? What indicators may be heralding some great change or event, but are unheeded by me? How I would love to know! Even though I do not, I still find my eyes drawn upward in fascination to the skies in all states, day and night, and in all seasons. And I have a feeling that whatever signs I miss, I will not be able to overlook that future moment when the Messiah coming on the clouds in power and great glory. What a spectacular show that is bound to be!
Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.