“And when you look up to the heavens and see the sun, the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven, do not be led astray and bow down to them and serve them, things that the Lord your God has allotted to all the peoples everywhere under heaven.”
~Deuteronomy 4:19 (NRSV).
Thanks to NASA, the first decade of the 21st Century engineered terrific advances in humankind’s knowledge of the sun, morphing our fascination of it. From the 3-dimensional images taken there is a greater appreciation of this enormously powerful body, including eruptive prominences that make our volcanoes distinctly ordinary in comparison.
It’s impossible to comprehend the size and might of the sun, and it’s therefore easy to get led astray under the captivated sway of wonder, awash at the size and mystery of created things—there are a great many things to marvel at.
What Serves What?
Our worship is ascribed to what we serve. Moses alludes to this in the above passage as he compels the Israelites to turn away from worship of the firmament and onto worship of the Lord.
As it is, the sun, moon and stars—all that heavenly host—serve us, not the other way around. The firmament of the cosmos is about a living environment for creation to exist. We don’t owe it—we owe the creator of it.
The sun provides critical heat and light for essential processes to support life. God put it there for us; for our survival and enjoyment.
But we’re too easily lost to wonder in ‘things’ and not wonder in the Being behind the thing.
Worship – the Practice of Service
What else are we likely to unsuspectingly worship? The sciences enthral us, capturing our attention, and we devote our minds and allegiance to knowledge, which is okay to a point.
It bears thought, however, that that which we give our attentions gets our worship. Sure, this can be taken too far, but if something—besides God—gets majority attention it’s been elevated above its purpose.
The marvellous things of life—those there to serve us—the things God created to support life—should, in our marvelling, propound to our minds the majesty of the Creator behind it all. It’s only when this occurs that we understand the right forms of service we’re to give, having been served at God’s command by things like the sun.
Right worship magnifies the Lord, and that in turn compels us to serve God—not that which has been required to serve us. If we have our service to God right, it will tend for others’ benefit; we understand God wishes us to serve other people in love.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.
Graphic Credit: NASA photograph of a Huge Eruptive Prominence from the Sun.