Script, Cheryl Meban 16th November 2016
Good morning. During the nineties, I had many opportunities to sleep out under the stars on a clear summer night in rural France. I was always amazed by the brightness and the sheer number of lights in the night sky. Now I live back in Northern Ireland, it is rare for me to brave the bracing cold of a clear winter’s night, though getting a dog has made this a rather more frequent occurrence. The sky here is never as clear as in France. There is so much more moisture from the oceans, and in the clouds that obscure our view of the rest of the universe – at least, the part of it we could have hoped to see from our latitude, on our side of the planet.
It’s not unreasonable to assume that there are far more stars than we can see, beyond our horizons. But on a cold and frosty November night in Ireland, it goes against our senses to believe instinctively that stars are suns, huge burning balls of gas, of which we see only the outer reaches of their radiance. How can we believe in their heat, or even their light, beyond that which we perceive with our frostbitten senses?
If we can believe in the heat of stars, in the warmth of a sun on a cold winter’s night, is it possible to believe in relational warmth that something or someone in or beyond our horizons might radiate with God’s joy towards us?
God beyond our sensing, keep warming us to your generous delight, fill us with kindness and mercy, make us burn with ardour for justice, truth and love, to conquer the freezing and deadly cold cruelty of selfish greed and oppressive darkness. Let your warmth bring life to our world today.