Wednesday, August 25, 2010

"Inhabitants of the Dot"

In reading a book on astronomy, I was confronted with a notion often proposed by some who study the stars. According to one notable scientist, the earth is merely a "pale, blue dot" in the vast expanse that comprises the known universe. Man is even less, and thus our "insignificance" is declared to be one of the great implications of astronomical study.

Countering this idea is the Bible that declares humanity to bear a significance far more vast in importance than the universe is in dimension. God Himself became a man, and in this act of wondrous condescension, exalted the human race to the most privileged and important of any other created order. Our Lord esteems the creation made "in His image" so highly that He became as one of us to make atonement for our sins, and to eternally unite Himself with us in order that humanity might fulfill its intended purpose. Man matters to God. The evidence of wounded Hands and Feet bears witness to such a wonder of love, mercy, and redeeming grace made possible at the highest cost to our Maker.

Our spiritual enemies would have us believe that there is no true meaning in our existence. According to these voices of despair, we are born, we live, we die, and all too soon our bodies are less than dust. Whatever footprints we leave along the paths of our lives will not stand the test of more than a generation or two. Indeed, even the most notable among us quickly become little more than ink on the pages of a human history that will one day melt in the fiery heat of a Milky Way supernova that some scientists believe is overdue. The outlook portrayed by Satan and his minions is bleak, and if it were true, any notion of human meaning, purpose, and significance would be rendered null and void.

If, however, the living and true God of the Bible made us, and if His purpose for us is fraught with such meaning that He Son died for us, notions of human meaning, purpose, and significance become so important that we must consider the entirety of our lives in their Divinely inspired context. This moment, and all to follow, are discovered to be vital components of an eternity in which everything and everybody matter so infinitely much that God became man in order to make possible the redemption and fulfillment of our significance. "He hath made Him to be sin for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (II Corinthians 5:21).

Most of our moments won't be lived with this significance consciously in mind. Too many will even be lived in a manner that belies the truth. Nevertheless, we must plant deeply within our hearts and minds the truth that the human race matters, we matter, and those with whom we live our lives matter. For most, this will not lead to an outwardly spectacular life, or to fame and obvious significance. We will rather quietly walk our paths, leave our footprints, and disappear when our earthly journey concludes. However, if we have trusted the Lord Jesus, and if we believe His Word, somewhere deep in our hearts we will known that He has woven eternal consequences into our lives that will help to form the tapestry of a creation that will never end. Yes, we live on a "pale blue dot." But it is God's dot, and it is the sphere of matter and influence where His Son lived, died, and rose again to become the Lord of the universe (and from which He will forever reign -Jeremiah 3:17). The dot is therefore important beyond words, and more importantly, the inhabitants of the dot are important not only beyond words, but beyond comprehension.

"I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him."
(Ecclesiastes 3:14)

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