Out Of This World

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Out Of This World

Radio Kent Sunday Breakfast Thought For The Day 6 January 2018

It’s been a wonderful few days for space enthusiasts.

We’ve had images from China’s Chang’e 4 lunar rover on the far side of the moon, and pictures of a remote lump of rock known as Ultima Thule from Nasa’s New Horizons space probe.

Some people have said these look like badly focused photos of an unfinished snowman, but as someone who always gets
his thumb in the corner of the picture I’m impressed that something travelling at 32,000 miles an hour, has managed to get any images at all of a rock hurtling along the edge of the solar system.

And they streamed those pictures back from 4 billion miles away! I can’t even connect to Wi-Fi upstairs in my own house.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I find these vast interstellar distances can make a fella feel a bit small. After all, from the perspective of the 4.6 billion year-old Kuiper belt, it really does seem that we live on an utterly insignificant little blue green planet far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy. And yes, Douglas Adams, even our obsession with digital watches shows no signs of abating.

Yet, according to the Christian faith, we human beings are at the heart of an astounding story written by the author and creator of the universe itself.

Christians believe that so great is God’s love and concern for you and me that he himself entered time and space, that in an obscure town in a remote part of a long-expired empire on li’l ol’ planet earth, God played a walk-on part in our human drama, taking on the shocking confines of a baby’s skin.

Colonel James Irwin, the eighth of twelve men who have landed on the moon, would often say: “God walking on the earth is more important than man walking on the moon.”

It’s so easy to think of God as some kind of distant, disinterested Heavenly Being. But when we see the human face of God in Jesus we see something completely different – we see laughing, crying, shouting, eating, drinking, loving, suffering, bleeding, dying.

I find this mind-boggling!

In Jesus, God is with us, understands us, knows us, he gets us. Because God has taken on flesh, we are able to know both our origin and destiny, as he invites us to live long and prosper with him. This is the God of the close encounter someone I feel I could really get to know.

It turns out, far from being a godforsaken, cosmic middle of nowhere, our tiny fleck of Earth, no bigger than a pixel, is actually the cradle of God’s eternal plan and purposes.

Now that really is out of this world!

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