Looking for Neptune
So how many of the nine planets have you seen? I don't mean seen in a science book, or National Geographic I mean with your own eyes. Some are easier to see than others. To see the Earth, go outside and look down at your feet. Virtually everyone has seen Jupiter and Venus even if they didn't know that that unusually bright "star" was really a planet. I have even seen Venus in broad daylight, by knowing exactly where to look. Mars, Mercury, and Saturn are easily seen with the naked eye if you know when and where to look. If you would like to try your hand at planet spotting, this month would be a good time to try, use the picture charts below to aid you. Toward the middle of the month, if you look east about 40 minutes before sunrise, you should be able to glimpse Mercury, Saturn, Venus, Jupiter and the crescent moon all lined up for your enjoyment. Mars is not visible as it is lost in the glare of the sun. So far we have accounted for 6 of the planets. Pluto is not visible without a very good telescope and extreme patience and for all practical purposes, not worth looking for. This leaves Uranus and Neptune. They are both there in the East along with the before mentioned planets, within the confines of Capricornus low in the Southeast just before dawn. Uranus can be seen relatively easily with a pair of binoculars. But again the trick is knowing where to look. I have spotted Uranus many times but always with the aid of a precise star chart so I could distinguish the planet from the background stars. I am still looking for Neptune. I have tried on several occasion but always get it confused with some other star in the same binocular field of view. It is kind of like dropping a teaspoon of sand on your kitchen floor and picking out a particular grain from a standing position. I have failed thus far with Neptune by not being able to find exactly where to look.
If there is any constant in the above discussion it is this: to find something elusive you must know exactly where to look. For many people, finding God is the most elusive search of all. The reason He is not found is they do not know exactly where to look. They may look in some religious ritual, they may try to listen to some inner voice, they may attempt to study all the world's religions or even invent their own. These will all prove as futile as looking for Neptune on a cloudy night. The only place to find God is in the only perfect revelation of himself that we have. This revelation is contained in the sixty-six books that comprise the Bible. Knowing exactly where to look does require faith in God's existence and the reality of His revelation. Hebrews 11:6 says: "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."
If you don't know God, seek Him through a concerted effort to study His Word, attendance at our church or one like ours would be a great place to start. Perhaps you are a believer but for some reason He seems far away and His help and direction seems distant. Seek Him since you now know exactly where to look.
If you happen to see any of the planets this month let me know, and let me know if my guiding you where to look has helped. But if we fail to find Neptune again this month lets make sure we don't miss encountering God. One may leave us disappointed the other would leave us in spiritual danger.
Pastor, Calvary Baptist Church
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