Good Friday morning ...
Where is the universe?
That sounds like a stupid question, doesn't it? But I was taught there is no such thing as a stupid question. So where is it?
Can you stand outside of it somewhere and see it? Can you identify its boundaries? Can you traverse its breadth? Can you reach its outer limits? Where is its edge?
The universe is not the earth. It's not the world as we know it. It's not just a bunch of galaxies. The universe is defined as "all of space and time and their contents including planets, stars, galaxies and all other forms of matter and energy." So where is it located?
To me the universe is so magical, so majestic, so magnificent, so enormous, so incomprehensibly intricate that the question is unanswerable.
I cannot even imagine the size of the universe; I seem so inconsequential to its existence. I can be told a star is so many light-years away, but I can't really comprehend the scale of that. So, when cosmological experts estimate the universe to be 93 billion light-years in diameter ... what does that mean? And, still, where is it?
As a person of faith, believing that God is the Creator of this magnificent universe, my perspective will be quite a bit different from the scientist or politician who opines that there is a high likelihood of human civilization coming to an end by 2050, largely due to human habitation of planet earth.
It doesn't matter to me so much WHERE the universe is ... but that I am a part of it ... and not just some insignificant, puny, inconsequential part ... but a vital, even essential part because of who God made me to be as part of His creation. As the psalmist declares, "I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works, my soul knows it very well" [Psalm 139:14]. With this understanding, one tends to view life on this earth as a great gift.
Furthermore, our Founding Fathers declared rightly that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights --- among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. For that we all should be tremendously grateful. Since everything we have is God-given, we should be thankful for our existence and SHOULD do our part to protect and enhance the universe into which He has placed us. "For all this it is my duty to thank and praise, serve and obey Him" [final words to the meaning of the First Article of the Apostles' Creed].
I marvel at our universe at this time of year knowing that our Savior, JESUS, gave up His rulership over the entire universe and over all of God’s creation when He was born at Bethlehem. He, the Second Person of the Trinity, humbled Himself and, by God’s design, became one of us, taking on the form of a man and living among us to declare and demonstrate God’s love for fallen man. He, who participated in creation at the very beginning of our universe, came to do what we could not do … namely save ourselves from our sin.
And so, our very universe … that we cannot comprehend in our human finiteness … became home for its Creator as He lived among us and blessed us with His presence until, in total fulfillment of His father’s will, He gave His life for all mankind. And our great, unfathomable, expansive universe was blessed with the favor of God Himself.
And that’s what it was all about in that tiny speck of a town of Bethlehem on that holy night when Jesus was born. The universe and our earth became home for the Son of God incarnate … and our Savior, who is Christ the Lord, was born.
Have a blessed weekend preparing for the celebration of His birth in just twelve days …
Jesus “who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross.” [Philippians 2:6-8]
Grace Lutheran Church - LCMS
Grace Lutheran 12200 McCormick Rd
Jacksonville, Florida 32225