Starry, Starry Night
I've always been fond of the Impressionist painters, Pissarro, Monet, and especially Van Gogh. They painted not what was reality, or exactly like nature, but infused their painting with their impression of a scene or object. We see it as interpreted by the artist as though hyper-real, with a heightened sense of emotion and bold swaths of color. One of my favorite paintings is Van Gogh's “Starry Night”. The trees and hills are dark, but great brilliant stars fill the sky, swirling in celestial harmony. When I first saw that painting in person, I was awe struck. What a beautiful night sky Van Gogh had interpreted to us.
I think that's how the skies must have looked to the shepherds that night in the dark hills around Bethlehem. Suddenly, with a heightened sense of awareness, the stars seemed larger, more brilliant, alive and dancing. Then the sky was filled with angels, singing to the glory of God. What a spectacle! What a glorious sight! And then, the most wonderful news that the Messiah had been born!
I imagine those shepherds were never the same after that. They could not look at the stars at night without seeing the shimmering glory of God's good news. And when God comes into our lives, we can never see the world the same way again. We see scenes with a heightened sense of awareness, a sense that we are there for a purpose. Like the shepherds who were to go forth and spread the glorious news of Christ's birth, we have a purpose to spread God's love into all the world.
Dear God, open our eyes and hearts to see the amazing beauty in your world. Help us spread the good news of Jesus and your love to all peoples. Amen.
Go forth and Rejoice!