This week, there's been a particular name of Christ that has reminded me of His faithfulness, reliability, and the bright hope He brings to a lost and dying world.
I homeschool my kids, but we are also involved in a homeschool co-op that we attend every Thursday afternoon. We used to participate in the full program (which is twice per week), but honestly, with Minime's new subject load, we just needed to be home more than when we started in 2nd grade!
I teach one of the three classes he attends at co-op, which is the 5th grade Astronomy class (not to be confused with Astrology...we learn planets, stars, constellations; not signs, horoscopes, and superstitions). In Astronomy, we are able to study the solar system and outer space as all part of God's creation.
Last Thursday, we completed our unit on the planet Venus. It's the second planet from our sun, and it's also the brightest celestial body in our early morning or early evening sky (besides the moon, of course).
And since prehistoric times, the presence of Venus in the morning sky has always been known as the eastern herald proclaiming the dawn of a brand new day:
"Because of its appearance in the eastern sky before dawn, it was thought of as the harbinger of sunrise. The title Aster Lampros Proinos presents a powerful and beautiful image of the One who is also known as 'the light of the world.'" (Immanuel, Praying the Names of God through the Christmas Season by Ann Spangler, page 123).
So here it is:
Jesus, the Brightest Star in the early morning, proclaiming the hope of dawn, which in itself holds relief from the night and promises of newness of life. Thank you, Jesus.
"Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
"Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
"I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star." Rev 22:12-16
Artist's rendition of Venus in the early morning sky