stars, kittens and missing you all

Nice to have this working again! Elizabeth and I watched “The Help” together last night so now we get all the inside jokes. 🙂 It was a good film. Thanks for the recommendation.

Yesterday, I enjoyed many enlightening conversations with Josh VanEe (college friend and OT professor at Westminster West). We both enjoyed a very friendly yet earnest theological exchange on multiple fronts. Although he challenged me on several fronts, he encouraged me in the area of stars and angels. His feedback lead me to substantially improve the paragraph in my “Training Stargazers” essay on the relationship between kingship and stars:

When God creates the stars, he makes them to rule over the night (Genesis 1:14-18). God tells Abram to count the stars (and the sand grains) while informing him that many kings will come from him. Stars mark the limits of the heavens as the sands mark the limits of men’s earthly kingdoms. (Genesis 15:5, 17:6 and 22:17) In his farewell address to Israel, Moses declared: “When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he divided mankind, he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God” (Deuteronomy 32:8, ESV). This phrase “sons of God” is the best translation from the most ancient manuscripts and refers to an angelic council surrounding God in His heavenly throne room. This angelic council is taken as the template in God’s plans for earthly kingdoms (which gives us plenty to ponder as we consider our own national flag and its image of a new constellation). Joseph, in his final dream about his future rule over Egypt, saw stars bowing down to him (Genesis 37:9-10). We see an incredibly close association between kingship and stars as Balaam prophesies over God’s people saying, “A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel. He will crush the foreheads of Moab, the skulls of all the people of Sheth.” (Numbers 24:17, NIV) Of course, this is the very same star that the magi looked for as they awaited signs of a kingly birth that would finally bring all earthly kingdoms under God’s heavenly rule (Matthew 2:2). In several passages, Paul describes Abraham’s spiritual heirs as kings who currently reign with Christ in heaven and who shine like stars in the universe (as well as referring to a future unveiling and reign for which all creation currently longs). In the introduction to John’s Apocalypse, Christ says to the faithful in the church of Thyatira: “just as I have received authority from my Father, I will also give that one the morning star” (Revelation 2:27b-28). Later in this same book, John relates a vision of kingly men casting down their crowns alongside the angels who surround God’s heavenly throne (Revelation 4). Regardless of how each detail is understood, this is clearly a vision of the same heavenly council referenced by Moses in his farewell song to Israel (see Deuteronomy 32:8 above). These passages are only a partial survey, but the biblical images connecting stars and heavenly kings are clearly no laughing matter.

Today we get to meet the kittens that we will be getting soon.

We are praying for you all and missing you. It was so good to get some time together over this holiday. Our little family depends so much on the love and support of you all.

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