When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars that you have established;
what are human beings that you are mindful of them,
mortals that you care for them? Psalm 8:3-4
We just returned from a cruise to the Bahamas. We had a wonderful time, but the highlight of the trip wasn’t the pink sands and aqua waters of the Caribbean. No, the highlight for me was the stop on the way south at Port Canaveral and the day trip to the Kennedy Space Center. I was awed as I stood underneath a Saturn 5 rocket; I was overwhelmed looking at the space shuttle Atlantis, and I was moved nearly to tears as I walked past the rows of pictures of those who died in the course of our space exploration.
Looking at the pictures of space and seeing the tiny space station on the magnificent canvas of infinite outer space, I was reminded of the words of Psalm 8, “what are human beings that you are mindful of them…” The wonder of space and its billions of stars and billions more planets, the beauty of the universe in images from the Hubble telescope, the size of what is out there, all combined to make me feel small and insignificant. And yet Scripture tells us that God loves us and gave Jesus Christ for our salvation. What an awesome thought, that in this infinite universe, the God who is even greater than that cares for us.
It is the nature of our faith to combine things that seemingly cannot go together – a God who is infinite and yet came in the person of Jesus, a God who is transcendent and yet is present to us in every moment, a God who orders stars and suns but who also gives meaning and purpose to my daily life. That in itself is cause for wonder and awe.
When you go outside tonight, look up at the heavens and consider the vastness of space and our faith in a God who is even bigger, even greater than that. Open your mind to the reality that we worship the God who created all that. And give thanks for the abiding presence and love of the master of the universe.
Prayer: Infinite God, you have created a universe of awesome size and diversity, setting stars in the black velvet of outer space, twirling planets in a soundless dance, and mixing a palette of planet-hued colors. And yet you care for us, seemingly insignificant in the vastness of space but given meaning and consequence by your love. Help me to honor your greatness even as I give thanks for your abiding love. Amen.