Fun fact: to get to the edge of our Milky Way galaxy, you simply need to hop in a rocket and travel at the speed of light for 20,000 years. Let’s just say that space (or just our bit of it) is really, really big. It’s a big place out there. And here I sit. At a tiny desk. In a tiny corner, on an island, on a beautiful (but still tiny, really) blue and green ball, which is suspended in the backwaters of a small galaxy, which is itself just one of billions in our universe. There I go with the numbers again. But does it make you feel small? Does it give you a sense of awe? It probably should do both.
It’s troubling, because despite how small we are, we still want to feel that our lives have significance. It’s hard to imagine that everything we consider meaningful, beautiful, joyful or sad, is just a random ripple in an enormous accident.
Of course, the Bible doesn’t say that it is. It tells us – in Psalm 19 – that the size, majesty and beauty of this universe of ours is the work of God. And it tells us that it’s not only God’s work, but that it’s his message. It all ‘declares his glory’. So the pure size of it (presumably small to God) points us to how powerful he must be. But what about us? Well Psalm 139 tells us that despite our smallness, God even cares about us – and has known each one of us since before we were born. We are small, yet significant; miniscule, but we matter! This week in Chapel we learned that God is big. But that he has also spoken to us, through the world he created and through the Bible.
If that’s true, it’s both comforting and confronting! The universe is an extravagant artwork declaring God’s desire for us to know him. Jesus is God’s surprising messenger by whom we can.