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Take Time to Look up to the Skies

(Gen 15.5-12,17-18; Phil 3.17-4.1; Lk 9.28b-36)

I recall standing in the Hollyford valley in Fiordland gazing up at the sky. It was late autumn; there was no artificial light within a hundred kilometres; darkness was absolute. It was as if a giant hand had scattered gold-dust randomly all over the heavens; the pinpricks of individual stars blazed out here and there. Now I think of Abraham looking up at the desert sky seeing almost the same scene, though subtly different in the Northern hemisphere. We now know that what we see is just a tiny fragment of what is there, constellation after constellation, galaxy after galaxy. He did not need such an awareness; in offering the creatures he laid out he was recognising the diversity, the richness of creation and our human dependence on forces beyond human reckoning.

The disciples also saw Christ’s true glory just momentarily. They did not know what to do, or what to say. A door had been opened to see who he was but it closed just as quickly and they walked from the scene with the same Jesus they had seen, talked and shared meals with for years. It was after his resurrection that their eyes were open to comprehend what they had seen and that its hidden reality enlighted their understanding.

As a Lenten exercise we too might look up at the wonder of the skies. We now know that the trees that breathe for us, the water that bathes us and the soil that nourishes us are all children of the stars, just as we are. 

All around us is a manifestation of God’s richness, generosity and beauty. Let’s use our sense of wonder to protest against and reject in every possible way the rage that boiled out on the steps of our parliament and is now blowing to pieces the beauty and history of the Ukraine.

2nd Sunday Lent year C

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