Look Up at the Sky and Count the Stars

Post a Comment » Written on November 7th, 2011     
Filed under: Youth Ministry

From Doreen Olson

For many Covenant churches, fall signals the start of a renewed focus on discipleship among youth. In particular, I’m talking about those who are learning to let the Bible shape their lives through using the Covenant’s curriculum titled The Journey.

At Grace Church in Chicago, Keith McCready gives administrative support to this discipleship ministry by sending an email to students and parents each week. What a great use of his gift of encouragement and his great relational skill.

Here’s what he sent to the students this past week:

Last week we learned about God’s promise to Abraham and Sarah.

We read in Genesis 15:5 where God said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars — if indeed you can count them.’ Then He said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.'”

When the class was asked, “How many stars are there in the sky?” the answer came, “Not that many in Chicago!”That’s true! My daughter, Kara, was going to do an experiment to measure the amount of “light pollution” in Chicago and compare it to a friend’s location in Arizona.

We took a number of pictures of the night sky, like this one:

See the stars? Not too many of them, are there? There were only about 100 total in the original picture.
(If you know the constellations, that’s the “top” of Cygnus showing just over the house.)

But, like with God Himself, just because we can’t see them right now it doesn’t mean they are not there!

For a long time people thought that the Earth was the center of the universe and that the universe didn’t extend much further than the “short” distance to the sun or the stars that they could see in the sky.
But that gave us a wrong picture — it made us think we are bigger than we actually are, and God a lot smaller.

Only in the past 100 years or so we found out that those fuzzy stars are actually whole galaxies and that there aren’t just a few of them either. There are many billions of galaxies in the universe. Just eight years ago we thought there were “only” 70 sextillion stars in the universe. Now we think there are more than 4 times as many: 300 sextillion!

That’s 300,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars!

God is A LOT bigger than we can possibly imagine, even when we just try to think about something He created!

Just like the stars we probably only see 100 things that God has done for us, or 100 things He has promised us. That might seem like “a lot” but the reality is that He has promised us 300,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 things and we can only see a very small fraction (only 100/300,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) of God’s promises. Seeing 100 things out of 300,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 is like only being able to see just one proton out of the entire earth!

I’m so very grateful for people all around this movement we call the Covenant, who give generously and
often sacrificially so that our youth are being formed in Christ. Lead on!

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