UNIMAGINABLY TINY, UNFATHOMABLY IMPORTANT

You and I are tiny specks on a small planet that travels around  one star in the galaxy called the Milky Way. This one galaxy has anywhere from 100 to 400 billion stars.

And there are an almost unfathomable number of galaxies. Even if there are only 10 billion galaxies, that would mean the number of stars in the universe is 1, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000. And as our telescopes probe further into the universe, astronomers keep increasing the number of galaxies. One recent estimate is 2 trillion galaxies.

How big is the universe? Light travels at 186,282 miles per second ( i.e. 7.5 times around the earth in one second). In one light year, light travels about 5.88 trillion miles!  Just our Milky Way  galaxy is 150,000 to 200,000 light years across. The universe extends tens of billions of light years in all directions. And it is about 13 to 14 billion years old.

Okay you get the picture. You and I are tiny, tiny (unfathomably tiny) specks in an incomprehensibly vast universe. That would seem to make you and me very, very, very (add “very” a few trillion more times!) unimportant specks of dust.

And yet…The Bible tells me that I and every other person is created in the image of God. The Bible says every person is inestimably valuable.

God so loves everyone that God gave “his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” ( John 3:16). God does not want “anyone to perish” (2 Peter 3:9).  Jesus says our heavenly Father is like the shepherd who leaves the 99 sheep safe in the fold to find one lost sheep. Why?  “Because your father in heaven is not willing that any one of these little ones should perish”( Matthew 18:14). God longs for every person to accept the divine offer of salvation and live forever with God. That includes tiny me!  And you!

Jesus tells his disciples to call God-- that is, the creator of the whole universe!—“Father” (Luke 11 1-2).  Jesus urges us to pray to the Father, assuring us that “your Father knows what you need before you ask him” (Matthew 6:8).  The Bible urges us to pray without ceasing (Ephesians 6:18). And the final book of the Bible assures us that our prayers are like bowls of sweet smelling incense held up before God who welcomes them (Revelation 5:8). God delights in my prayers, your prayers.

In fact, Paul says the Holy Spirit “intercedes for us through wordless groans”( Romans 8:26). I don’t understand exactly how that works! But apparently the Trinity lovingly talks about each of us.  And that fits with Jesus who tells us that not even one sparrow falls to the ground “outside your Father’s care” (Matthew 10:29). “So don’t be afraid, you are worth more than many sparrows” (v. 31). In fact, Jesus assures us that “even the very hairs on your head are all numbered”(v. 30).  That is God Incarnate talking!

If God were finite like the rest of the universe, then it would be nonsense to think that God knows and cares about each person on earth (or even all the possible billions/trillions of “persons” on other planets!). But if, as Christian theology teaches, God is infinite, then it is no problem at all for an infinite being to know us all individually. 

 Science tells us how incredibly huge the universe is. The Bible tells us that at the center of this vast universe is the Creator, a loving personal Being. God Incarnate assures us that that infinite all powerful, all-knowing Creator is a loving Father who knows and loves each one of us. God Incarnate says we should call that one Daddy.

 if Jesus knew what he was talking about, then the unimaginable vastness of the universe does not make you and me almost infinitely insignificant. Rather it means that at the center of this vast universe is an infinite Creator who is a loving Parent who treasures each of us. We are not lost and alone in an unimaginably vast universe. Rather we are held in the loving arms of the One who created it all. Unfathomable grace!

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