The electric lights of this massive city explode into the night sky, and we are lucky to see the moon, and sometimes Mercury.  Oh but to stand in the darkness and peer up, out, into the heavens!  The  fathomless expanse filled with giant, swirling orbs and majestic, combusting bodies of sheer energy leaves one feeling minuscule and enveloped in glory.  The celestial power and beauty that captivate the human heart display the glory of the Lord; he is the master of it all.  From his mind, every passionately burning star and steady, spinning planet was conceived.  And with incomprehensible power, he spoke it into being!

I recall a night years ago, in a prayer garden with fellow saints.  The moon and stars shone down on us in our sanctuary, bounded by a circle of tall pines.  Our hearts burst forth in unison with songs of worship to the creator, the sustainer, the savior.  And the joyful noises rising up from that inconceivably small space in the universe were more glorious than all the songs of all the glowing heavenly bodies above.  The stars and planets display God’s power and majesty, but we display his love, his mercy, his grace.

Prayers and praises from rebels transformed, drawn by an irresistible grace, fill the air.  This God, the source of all power and beauty, has looked on us who have profaned his name, not with disdain and judgment, but with passionate love.  He set aside intrinsic omnipotence and entered our fallen world, enduring our insults and feigned power to take his life.  And he gave his life.  He absorbed the wrath for our collective years of failure to join the rest of creation in its glorious song.  We are spared the criminal’s death.  Mercy!

We live now as new creatures with new hearts and a new song.  Still we fall, fail, forget.  But every morning, his mercies come anew.  And when we turn away, he melts our hearts and leads us back, determined to keep us – us who have value precisely because he has given it to us.  And we are destined for an existence more bright and glorious than the stars, more intimate than that of the angels.  We are sons and daughters of the Living God!  This is a grace which human words cannot adequately describe.

The truth is, when I am burrowing through the masses in the crowded metropolis of Shanghai, and when I’m gazing up into the heavens from a prayer garden in rural Georgia, God is there.  His glory is there.  His grace is there.  In fact, the very existence of anything at all displays our God, the ultimate creator.  Oh that I would see it!  Oh that my regenerated heart would sing anew the song that he has composed for it!