Falling Stars

In the sixth chapter of Revelation we read that "the stars of heaven fell unto the earth," and since Mrs. Eddy states that the opening of the sixth seal refers to the present age, students of her writings read these verses with an added interest. The child gazing up at the sky and watching the flash of a falling star probably thinks that one of the stars has fallen from the blue vault of the heavens into the unknown depths below the earth, and he would be surprised when assured that there were just as many stars to be seen in the sky as before, in fact that the so–called "falling star" is not a star at all. We know the wonderful care shown by Mrs. Eddy in her choice of words. She frequently uses the word star as an illustration of those gifted with a clear understanding of Truth. In "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 360) she refers to Jesus and Paul as "stars of the first magnitude," and in her poem "Christ and Christmas" this word is again used as a synonym for the appearing of Truth. Thus it is interesting to note that a study of astronomy reveals the fact that, even on the human plane, stars do not fall.

Falling stars or meteors are of several kinds. Some consist of small dark fragments which the earth encounters as it travels on its path round the sun. As they meet the atmosphere of the earth their speed is so great that they become hot, and to the observer they look like stars. Some of these dark fragments reach the earth; others are completely consumed by the heat as they rush through the air. Then there are certain well–known showers of meteors occurring at definite intervals, such as the November meteors. None of these are ever supposed to reach the earth; they follow a known path round the sun, and every year as the earth crosses their path many are caught in the atmosphere and look like falling stars. These meteoric showers are probably allied to comets.

Thus whatever the appearance of falling stars may be, tempting the observer to fear that the light of the sky may be dimmed, astronomy teaches us that the number of the stars is unchanged and their brightness undiminished. May not this illustration be a guide to us in these days of apparent stress and tumult, that in spite of earthquake and darkness the light from the heavens is in reality as bright as before to those who have the faith to look upward. Thus as the words of St. John's prophetic vision are renewedly fulfilled, it is those whose perception is unclouded by the appearance of turmoil who will be found like the disciples of old in the "upper chamber," ready to discern and to welcome the ever present Christ.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

"On upward wing"
July 26, 1919

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.