"Star Gazing" By: Jerry Cauley
I look back over the years and recall an adult choir retreat in the mountains of Western
The weather was cool and a bit overcast there atop
Grandfather Mountain. After dinner and rehearsal, we kept our tradition of gathering outdoors around a large
campfire to sing and have a bedtime devotional.
At first it was the predictable routine from previous years. A roaring, crackling fire to light our faces with loud guitar strums to help lead happy, clappy choruses and fun songs.
By the time laughter had subsided and flames turned to glowing red embers, we were gently swaying and softly
singing some of the more profound “hymns and spiritual songs” of our faith.
Our attention was drawn upward to reveal a now clear, starry sky.
In a moment of spontaneity someone led us in singing Tom Fettke’s beautiful choral piece based on Psalm 8. “When I gaze into the night skies and see the work of your fingers, the moon and stars suspended in space. O what is man that You are
mindful of him? You have given man a crown of glory and honor, and have made him a little lower than the angels…”
There was no accompaniment. Somehow all the parts were there and everyone remembered the words.
The piece rises to a crescendo of “alleluias” with references to “the majesty and glory” of God before trailing off to a soft ending of yet more “alleluias”.
When the final notes were sung, we sat in silence gazing up into the starry night sky.
The wise men apparently got inspiration from the stars to go discover the Christ-child.
We didn’t consider ourselves “wise” star gazers that night on Grandfather Mountain. But we felt the presence of God in a powerful way that made us want to seek out and serve the Son of God.
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