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For those living in Aotearoa/New Zealand, I hope you have had a restful weekend and enjoyed our first Matariki public holiday. Matariki or Pleiades is a cluster of stars marking the beginning of the Maori New Year.

Stars from a Christian perspective have always held significance. The beautiful poetry of the Old Testament refers to stars often. Psalm 8 for example, ‘I often think of the heavens your hands have made and of the moon and the stars you put in place.’

The wise men from the East followed the star that led them to the Christ Child.

Jesus is referred to as the sun of justice and the one Morning Star that never sets referred to in the Easter Proclamation.

Mary has the title of Stella Maris, Star of the Sea.

The awesomeness of the stars has captured humankind down the ages. And so, for the early Maori who looked up at the night sky and spotted Matariki and acknowledged their New Year with its appearance.

I remember holding my young niece who was about 3 or 4 at the time during a winter’s night. She gazed up at the stars in amazement. Her amazement filled me with a renewed awe.

We give thanks for the wonder of the stars and for what they signify for so many people.

I can only imagine how this new public holiday has impacted on Maori people.

This Sunday I share with you the lyrics of a song in progress adapted from a poem by Fr James Lyons. I hope to record the song early next month. Thanks again, James, for your images and prompting.



Gift to our Southern Sky


Path through the dark of night


Shine, the brightness of joy

Carry the light of rebirth,

Sew hope with your star-lit braid

And keep watch on the earth, the wonder of earth


Gift to our Southern Sky


Path through the dark of night


Shine, luminous stars

Glittering gems in the dark

Guarding the harvest of life

Friends to all whanau, hapu and iwi


A new year we view with our eyes

You shine down and nurture us here

If we care for the world and all lives

A star-studded future is near


Matariki, Matariki, Matariki.

Just in case you feel cheated in not hearing the song today, you might like to listen to a song I wrote called 'Beneath the Stars' which is track 3 on Commissioned Songs. It was inspired by a Mission Concert at Greenmeadows I attended. Being together with friends and whanau sharing food and drink which the song captures is very much in the spirit of Matariki.

Blessings on your week.

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