Friday, 29 November 2013

The one that will never pass away

One of my favourite activities is stargazing.

Whenever I have some spare time in the evening, I always climb upstairs to the open attic to watch the night sky. Whenever I'm lucky enough to be standing on an open field or sailing in the open sea, where the horizon spreads to infinity, when night comes I always look up to the stars.

The grand view of a starry night sky is like a time machine. It's simply mind-boggling when I realise that the same scene has been perceived by generations before me. The same view has been watched by my great-grandparents and their great-grandparents. The same sky has shaded Gajahmada, Napoleon, and Lao Tzu. The same stars have blinked to pharaohs, ocean voyagers, lowly slaves, and great kings.

We too, stand on an ancient land. Nusantara and its ancient civilisations have existed since 200 BC. Even history tells us that the Java Man (Homo erectus) prowled the island around 1.6 million years ago, and is one of the oldest ancient men.

Seeing how far we've gone, how invincible mankind is on the great earth, it's hard to imagine that every one of these will come to an end. I'm sure that the ancient Greeks, ancient Romans, the Soviets, had never imagined that their strong civilisations and cultures would be obliterated. But that's what happened.

That one pencil on our table will slowly be degraded. Uneaten food will become stale or covered with mould. Riches will be used up. Borobudur will break down. Pyramids will be swallowed by dust. The stars I've been gazing at, that have been watched by previous generations, later, somewhen, will fade and die out.

It's frightening to think about it. But fortunately we have some relief for there is one thing that will never pass away: God's words.

Human word, as soon as it is uttered, disappears, as if it is nothing. But even then, human word, which is a mere vapour in the wind, already has tremendous powers. Human word creates history, form thoughts, yields emotions and hopes. Human word can console and destroy, can build up and overthrow, can nurture and kill.

If that is how strong human word that is meant to pass away, how much stronger is the word of God, the one that will never pass away! God is eternal, and eternal is His word. His word is the true reality, the only right foundational rock. And on this foundation must we build our lives, around this reality must our lives revolve. On this rock shall we find safety and peace, because "his rule is an everlasting rule which will never pass away, and his kingship will never come to an end." (Dan 7:14) Amen.

Bless the Lord, mountains and hills, praise and glorify him for ever!
Bless the Lord, every plant that grows, praise and glorify him for ever!
Bless the Lord, springs of water, praise and glorify him for ever!


Daily Reading for Friday, 29 November 2013

First Reading — Daniel 7 : 2-14
Responsorial Psalm — Daniel 3 : 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81
Gospel — Luke 21 : 29-33


Image: "Moon Light Sonata", Basuki Abdullah

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