When it comes to the night sky most see all the twinkling lights, and may be able to pick out a few features like the Moon, maybe Mars, perhaps Saturn, or Venus in the early morning or evening. We also may know of Polaris, the North Star, and with some difficulty pick it out. Still fewer of us will know the Constellations like Orion, Ursa Major and Minor, or Aries. Fewer even still, will recall the formations like the Pleiades or Seven Sisters (think of the Subaru symbol).
Before the age of radio navigation and GPS, these celestial bodies guided our exploration of the planet and beyond. They took our explorers across the vast oceans, helping them find the Americas as they sailed from Europe and Africa, or find the tiny specks of rock scattered across the broad Pacific. They were used by the Apollo teams to guide their path to the moon and home. They have been there since the beginning of time and will see the end of time.
Today I am reminded of Arcturus, the brightest star in the northern sky, it is also the zenith star of the Hawaiian Islands. The ancient Polynesian[i] called it Hōkūleʻa, the “Star of Joy.” In this season, we remember the wise men and the shepherds led to Christ by a star. A star that has ultimately led so many of us to a deep inner joy.
May all who read this little note find peace in the knowledge the stars like Arcturus still guide our way.