top of page
Right Ascensions: Devotions for the Backyard Astronomer    Fall Skies

Right Ascensions: Devotions for the Backyard Astronomer Fall Skies

This devotional is for everyone who looks up in wonder at God's creation. What caused a giant hole in the Ophiuchus nebular cloud? What has Perseverance rover discovered on Mars? Is there really a Snake Nebula? What is a luminous blue variable? How long will our Sun last? Explore these questions and more in Fall Skies.



The term 'Right Ascensions' refers to an object's celestial position. It can also refer to our prayers ascending to God's throne in a true offering of blessing. Right Ascensions inspires us to look up and give thanks.


  • Excerpt from Fall Skies

    November 16 Unique


    Praise him, sun and moon: praise him, all you stars of light (Psalm 148:3).


    Stars are like people. No better example of stars and people can be found than the beautiful double star Albireo. It’s a treat to see in small scopes because the stars are an interesting contrast. One star is hot blue while the other is pale yellow, a beautiful contrast.


    The contrast is instructive because of the differences in these stars’ natures. Blue stars burn hot and bright but expend their nuclear fuel faster than those burning at cooler temperatures. Yellow stars like our Sun are more conducive to life.


    The two stars appear side by side like sisters, like Mary and Martha described in John’s gospel. On one hand, Martha worked hard, expending her nuclear fuel like a hot, blue star. On the other hand, Mary burned with less intensity, yet she burned with steady love when she anointed Jesus with sweet perfume.


    The differences in the two sisters created some resentment, at least on Martha’s part. She wanted Jesus to scold Mary into helping prepare for a big celebration. Jesus told her, “Martha, you’re working yourself into a frenzy” (Luke 10:41). Even though Jesus didn’t order Martha’s sister into the kitchen to help, He gave Martha the most incisive statement about His identity: I am the Resurrection, and the Life (John 11:25b). Through Martha’s experience, Jesus demonstrated to all the world, even to us, His power to bring the dead to life.


    On the other hand, when Mary anointed Jesus with perfume, her demonstration of love gave her a place in the gospel record. In fact, Jesus must have known the depth of Mary’s love, for He wept with her at the tomb when her brother Lazarus died. Because she saw her brother walk out of the tomb, raised to life by Jesus, Mary, out of all of Jesus’s followers, Mary alone may have understood that Jesus would rise from the dead (John 11:32-45).


    The sisters and the stars show us how God creates individual lights, each of us given a unique brilliance to illuminate the darkness.


    We are precious in Your sight, Father. You have given Yourself to us with such generosity that we can show forth Your praises in our unique way. Give us strength to minister as a Martha. Give us insights to worship as a Mary. Be exalted, O Lord, be exalted through us this day.

bottom of page