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Sizing Up Significance


You own the cosmos—you made everything in it, everything from atom to archangel. PSALM 89:11 (MESSAGE BIBLE)


Famous celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz has nothing on the James Webb Space Telescope. The most distant star ever captured was photographed last year: Earendel. Spotted in a deep field shot, Earendel is a mere 28 billion light years from our tiny, fragile planet. I think that’s about 164,640,000,000,000,000,000,000 miles. Or over 164 sextillion, give or take a few quintillion.

The vastness of the universe is mind-boggling overwhelming.

Think about our planet, our continent, our country, your state, your city, your house, your bedroom, your pillow. Now imagine you’re an ant on your pillow. If the universe was the size of the entire earth, you aren’t even to edge of the pillowcase on your way to Earendel. And the universe is just getting started…it’s expanding at speeds we can’t imagine. Face it: the immensity is breath-taking. For those who believe God launched it all, one look at the sky on a cold winter night convinces them even more: God is omnipotent, spectacular, and beyond description. And even more amazing is that He knows us and loves us. For others who are wrestling with the God-question, the expanse of the cosmos can have the opposite effect: the universe is so incomprehensibly huge—and we are so small—that we must be insignificant in the whole scheme of things.

Somehow size is equated to significance against the backdrop of the overwhelming enormity of space. When did size have anything to do with attention in matters of love? Do we love a teenager more than a newborn? If one of my grandchildren is smaller than the others, do I love them less? Moses spent a lot of time reminding Israel about their covenant with God. At one point he told them: “The Lord did not choose you and lavish his love on you because you were larger or greater than other nations, for you were the smallest of all nations! It was simply because the Lord loves you…” DEUTERONOMY 7:7-8a (NEW LIVING TRANSLATION) Over 2700 years ago, the Hebrew prophet wrote this classic verse of size and significance: “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel; whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.” MICAH 5:2 (NEW KING JAMES VERSION) You, my smallish reader, are significant.

And one more point: in the comparative, weirdly competitive universe of church attendance, keep that in mind when you wrestle with the size of your church.

Dave Workman | The Elemental Group


 

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