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On the Journey...
Monthly Insight From Pastor Philip Yoder
Imagining the Bigness of God
Written By Pastor Phil Yoder
In recent times, with the development of very powerful telescopes, astronomers have been able to see far into space, and they are amazed, and even alarmed by the size of space and the number of stars they are finding. Astronomers estimate there may be as many as a trillion galaxies, each with billions of stars in them, and nearly all of them are light-years away from each other. And what will they find when they develop even more powerful telescopes? It appears to scientists as though space is constantly expanding. It is hard to know if it really is, or if scientists are just discovering more of what is already there. One thing is for sure, space is bigger than our imaginations.
I at times wonder what is out there, and why God made so many stars and space so big. Space probably contains much more than stars, possibly other dimensions, and perhaps other forms of life. Of course, we don’t know that, it is only imaginative speculation. We can see the stars with our eyes, but we all know there is more than we can see with our eyes. Our eyes can’t see things like love, or pain, or emotions, or the spirit world, or the massively complex stuff that comprises human hearts. The truth is that we know almost nothing about space, except that it is bigger than the imagination, and there are a lot of stars out there.
In the Bible, the heavens, and the stars in particular, are used to remind us of the infinite bigness, and greatness, and power of God. No one can even begin to fully comprehend these characteristics of God. God is greater than we can imagine, and no one can fathom the bigness of God. The prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 40:26) reminds us that, not only did God create all the stars, but God named every one of them, showing affection or some relationship with each one of the stars He made.
Now, given the bigness of the universe, and that God originally created human beings to care for His creation and to represent God to creation, I feel fairly sure God has something in mind for those He brings to heaven besides just an eternal vacation. The purpose of God saving us is to begin to shape us and prepare us for eternity, and for how God wants to use us in eternity. Here is a thought. Maybe God is trying to shape us into creatures who will be able to rule galaxies or to care for unknown dimensions in space…
God’s image in humans has been seriously marred by sin, and God needs to reshape us to restore that image so we realize our true vocation. But we are so averse to change, to pain, and to suffering that every time God puts His hands on us to reshape us, we cry out to God for relief.
In most churches today, the whole theology and the big push, is simply to push people into heaven. But sometimes I wonder if many Christians may be completely unprepared for heaven, because we don’t cooperate with God in His efforts to reshape us.
Genesis 2:7 tells us that when God created human beings, God formed the man from clay. Clay is pliable and needs to be shaped, and often reshaped, and then reshaped many more times, to be formed into something useful, and if the potter is skilled, into a masterpiece. The call of a Christian is to submit to God, to allow God to make us into useful creatures who will fulfill our original vocation, to represent God in creation, and to care for God’s creation.
Imagining the bigness of God is not only noticing the size of the universe, but discovering what God is reshaping us into, and what God might have us doing in Eternity.