On a clear night this week, once dark adapted (sit for 20 minutes in a darkened room) and after studying your star-map, go out after dark and find the Big Dipper. It is easily spotted, just look for the handle and the pot attached to it.
Using your fist, put three fists between the bottom of the pot of the Big Dipper. This will bring you to the outline of Leo! His head is also referred to as "The Sickle." Draw a straight line back from the bright star "Regulus" to see the rest of Leo's body. Remember to have fun finding this beautiful constellation and may you continue to wonder at God's vast heavenly display.
Click on the image to be taken to this star gazing activity.
This week during our Sunday morning service we will be creating star maps to help us visualise the beauty behind the dark. Click on the image to download instructions on how to create your own star map, and perhaps engage with our star gazing activity to see God's work in action. Click on the image to download Star Map activity.
We have been talking about how God's light shines through us in a dark pandemic time.
This week, at night, if you go out when there are little of no clouds you will see the moon and what looks like a very bright star. Well that's not star but it's the planet Venus at its closest approach to the sun. If you have binoculars, take a look at the moon and you will see craters that you cannot see without binoculars.
Many astronomers believe that the planet Venus was used as God's guiding star to lead the wise-men to Bethlehem at the time of Jesus' birth. Enjoy the beautiful lights in the dark sky this week even as you shine for Christ during this time!
Click on the image to see what Venus looks like in the sky.
“Turning toward our pain is counterintuitive. But in fact, the heart of Christianity is that the way to life is through death."
- Walter Bruggeman
Expressing our grief through Lament, although difficult, will bring us healing. On Sunday April 19 we learnt how to write our own Psalms of Lament. Some of us may not know where to start, but take heart for Jesus shows us in scripture the ultimate expression of grief when He cries over Lazarus's death and when He gathers up every experience of anguish on the cross, crying out Psalm 22, ‘My God My God why have you forsaken me?” We can find comfort as Jesus walks alongside us, weeping with us. For tips on writing your own Psalm of Lament, click on the image. Try doing this once a week and see the journey God takes you on through this pandemic. We pray it is an encouragement and support for you as we adapt to the dark.
Dark Adapted is a term commonly used by astronomers describing how our eyes must first become adapted to the dark in order to see the beauty of the cosmic lights. Here are some fun activities to engage with our new sermon series - Dark Adapted.