by Pastor Mark Jordan
“Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out like an army, one after another, calling each by its name. Because of his great power and incomparable strength, not a single one is missing.” (Isaiah 40:26, NLT)
Did you enjoy the eclipse? I sure did. It really seemed to bring out my inner child and inner geek, which admittedly aren’t that far from the surface (insert snide comment here). I loved how the middle of the afternoon was filled with a stillness that only comes at night…the birds were quiet, crickets chirped, the temperature dropped, and the moon covered the sun. It really was something to behold!
Something else that struck me was how everyone raised their gaze to the heavens. It was one of those “everybody moments” where people were looking up and taking in the same event. Sure, we were in different places literally and figuratively, but for a snapshot in time, we were all focused on something bigger than ourselves, taking in the awe and wonder. With as much division as we are currently living through, this everybody moment brought us together to remind us that we have more in common than we don’t.
Today’s verse offers an encouragement to live in such a way. It is truly a rare thing to be able to gaze upon the stars in the middle of a summer afternoon and remember that the God who calls the stars by name does the same for you and me. Later in Isaiah, we read these profound words, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1, NRSV). God calls every single one of us by name to experience these everybody moments and make more of them in life. For the day will come when the trumpet will blow and every eye will be drawn to the sky to see Jesus return to claim us as his own. At that time, every knee will bow and tongue confess that Jesus is Lord.
Maybe we can find more of these everybody moments moving forward, and not wait for rare celestial events to draw our collective gaze toward heaven. Times like this should not be anomalies, but the path of totality for our lives.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for the everybody moment yesterday’s where we all gazed at the heavens. Forgive me for the times I do not hear you call my name, or think you are calling the name of others. Help me by the power of your Spirit to live with my eyes toward the heaven, declaring your love for all no matter where I am and what I do. I pray this in Jesus’ name.