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Matariki - Pastor's pen for 23rd July 2023

Updated: Jul 23

Rangitoto winter morning July 2023

I accidentally woke really early this morning (Tuesday) and seeing as things seemed clear and still outside, I popped onto the porch to see if I could catch a glimpse of the Matariki star cluster. The thing with the Matariki (also known as Pleiades) is that it is quite faint with the city lights. It's not a big bold constellation, but rather whispers into the sky in the pre-dawn.

If you locate Orion's belt somewhere over Rangitoto and trace your finger left, past the bright star Aldebaran, a bit further left is is Matariki, in its semi-triangle shape. I haven't gone too much into the significance of the Matariki celebration, very conscious to keep separate the role of creation and creator in the world. God is God, and stars are created objects, however amazing.

However, I do appreciate the non-political message of Matariki, which sets it as a time for thanksgiving, of remembering loved ones, and getting together as family. I also appreciate the beauty of the night sky, which seems so peaceful and unchanging in a world beset by conflict and uncertainty. The season has got me thinking about who and what is important to me. At this time a gentle thankfulness is rising in me, as I remember with the prophet Amos;

"He who made the Pleiades and Orion,

and turns deep darkness into the morning

and darkens the day into night,

who calls for the waters of the sea

and pours them out on the surface of the earth,

the Lord is his name" (Amos 5:8)

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