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The God of the Cosmos

Philip Yancey wrote in a blog on the seemingly infinite expanse of space and the smallness of our earth by comparison. The sheer scale is enough to make you dizzy, but Yancey stares at the sky and recalls the Book of Job—and Jesus. He writes:

Scientists now believe that if you had unlimited vision, you could hold a sewing needle at arm’s length toward the night sky and see 10,000 galaxies in the eye of the needle. Move it an inch to the left and you’d find 10,000 more. Same to the right, or no matter where else you moved it. There are approximately a trillion galaxies out there, each encompassing an average of 100 to 200 billion stars.

Job got a closeup lesson on how puny we humans are compared to the God of the universe, and it silenced all his doubts and complaints. I’ve never experienced anything like the travails Job endured. But whenever I have my own doubts, I try to remember that perspective — the Hubble telescope view of God.

In his letter to the Philippians, the apostle Paul quotes what many believe to be a hymn from the early church. In a … lyrical paragraph, Paul marvels that Jesus gave up all the glory of heaven to take on the form of a man — and not just a man, but a servant — one who voluntarily subjected himself to an ignominious death on a cross. (Phil 2:6-7)

I pause and wonder at the mystery of Incarnation. In an act of humility beyond comprehension, the God of a trillion galaxies chose to “con-descend” — to descend to be with — the benighted humans on this one rebellious planet, out of billions in the universe. I falter at analogies, but it is akin to a human becoming an ant, perhaps, or an amoeba, or even a bacterium. Yet according to Paul, that act of condescension proved to be a rescue mission that led to the healing of something broken in the universe. […]

We hear the roar of God at the end of the Book of Job, a voice that evokes awe and wonder more than intimacy and love. Yet Philippians 2 gives a different slant on the Hubble telescope view of God. A God beyond the limits of space and time has a boundless capacity of love for his creations, no matter how small or rebellious they might be.

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