First this: God created the Heavens and Earth—all you see, all you don’t see. Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness. God’s Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss (The Message)
Our galaxy alone has about a trillion stars in it. To travel across it would take 100,000 light years, and a light year is about 9.5 trillion kilometres. So it is a pretty big galaxy. And yet there are millions of other such galaxies in the known universe and at the best estimates the known universe is about 156 billion light years across. We now are well beyond the point of comprehensible statistics.
This means for us that we are a small part of an indescribably larger enterprise: God’s creation. There are three godly responses to that. One is that of humility, another is gratitude, and the third is hope. Humility because we are in the hands of one great enough to make and sustain the universe: we are not at the centre. Humility because we have messed this tiny part of the universe up. Gratitude because there are many wonderful things in the world, and gratitude because this creative and awesome God loves and cares for each one of us. Hope because the wonders of creation point us toward the wonders of heaven.
So we are humble, grateful, hopeful. God the creator of our wonderful yet bent out of shape world gives us the gift of this world in which to delight. He gives us himself to be not only creator but redeemer and friend. He promises us that all the wonders of this world are mere glimpses of what is in store for those who accept his mercy and new life. No matter how awe inspiring scientific statistics may be, this is about the most awe inspiring fact of all.
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