Space discoveries have been thrilling these past few weeks, thanks to traveling telescopes launched many years ago!
The New Horizons program, nine years on its journey, has sent back amazingly detailed photos of Pluto, the icy dwarf planet at the near edge of millions of icy-rock balls in the Kuiper Belt at the far edge of our Solar System.
Then there are the Kepler photos of “452B,” a planet that shows some surprising similarities to Earth. Who would have imagined this? It is one of twelve planets that are roughly similar to our “pale blue dot” (as astrophysicist Neil deGrasse-Tyson describes Earth). The thing is, 452B is 1,400 lightyears away from us. This means it is so far away that it would take 1,400 years for us to get a message to them, and another 1,400 years for them to send a message back!
The scope of God’s creation is staggering. Currently I’m pondering a sermon involving the Hubble Telescope, launched twenty-five years ago. It is now sending incredible photos of nebulae where entire galaxies are born, or die, or super-nova to distribute their elements back out into space. I can’t help but respond with wonder and awe at the immensity and intricacy of it all!
“Think of us in this way,” Paul writes to the Corinthian Christians, “as stewards of God’s mysteries.” It’s so easy to operate within our comfortable, human-centered surroundings. But in the context of the universe and our tiny place in it, it is even more extraordinary – and essential – that God has called us to be stewards of our planetary home.
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