Creator of the Stars of Night (ELW 245, focus on Verse 1)
1 Creator of the stars of night,
your people’s everlasting light,
O Christ, redeemer of us all,
we pray you hear us when we call.
2 When this old world drew on toward night,
you came; but not in splendor bright,
not as a monarch, but the child
of Mary, blessed mother mild.
3 At your great name, O Jesus, now
all knees must bend, all hearts must bow:
all things on earth with one accord,
like those in heav’n, shall call you Lord.
4 Come in your holy might, we pray,
redeem us for eternal day;
defend us while we dwell below
from all assaults of our dread foe.
5 To God the Father, God the Son,
and God the Spirit, Three in One,
praise, honor, might, and glory be
from age to age eternally. Amen.
Text: Latin hymn, 9th cent.; tr. Hymnal 1940, alt.
Text © 1940 Church Pension Fund, admin. Church Publishing Incorporated. All rights reserved.
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An amazing thing about how the Bible presents and reveals God is the constant tension it holds between God as the creator of the cosmos and God who pays attention to individual humans. It makes no sense that the divine being who strung the stars up in the skies would hear the call of a single, anguished (or joyful, or tired, or relieved, or grateful) human heart. And yet, that’s what we see time and again in Scripture. Recall the scene in Genesis 15, where God and Abraham are about to enter into a kind of formal relationship (which people in the ancient Near East called a “covenant”). Abraham stands outside under the night sky, unable to count the stars, and so to comprehend the immensity of God’s promises. The creator God is also the God of this close relationship—the God who hears when we call, and the God who redeems us all.
Creator God, we marvel at the immensity of your power and promises. The stars showed Abraham how big your promises can be, and that, even when our lives feel small, there is enough light in the darkness for us to find our way. Through this relationship you sustain us. Bring us into your everlasting light. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.