Aldebaran: Following without Seeing

As I walked to chapel last week, I stopped to catch my breath on Whytha Road. Away from all street lights and houses, that part of Middop affords a reasonable view of the night sky. When that breath was caught and my heartbeat calmed, I still stood gazing into the night. Like the heaven promised to God’s people, the physical heavens are concealed to the human eye, with only the odd pinprick of light coming through the world’s din. I noted one bright star situated between Orion’s right shoulder and the Pleiades- Aldebaran. Like many of our stars, it is over 40 times larger than our sun and 400 times as bright, though its distance of 5.9 trillion miles saves our eyes and skin from blinding and burning respectively.

The star's name comes fourteenth-century Arabic Al Dabaran ‘the follower’ (نير الضبران). As Pleiades rises a little before Aldebaran, the great star was said to be its follower. The other name for Aldebaran is ‘Eye of Taurus’, referring to the constellation in which it is found and its position in the shape of the bull. We might therefore consider Aldebaran, great a star though it is, to be following, but not seeing, the seven stars of Pleiades (Taurus has its back to them).

In John 20:29, Jesus says “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Like Aldebaran, we are not currenrly called to see, but to follow. None of us are able to put our hands in Christ’s wounds, but if we are wise enough to believe their saving work and His redeeming ministry, we are blessed indeed, and shall

shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever. (Daniel 12:3)

Image by Oleg Gamulinskiy from Pixabay