March 23, 2020 - The Sombrero Galaxy

The background on my computer is a Hubble shot of the Sombrero Galaxy. The first time I looked at it, I almost burst into tears. The astonishing beauty is one thing, but the size, the distance, the vastness, the scope, the grandeur of it all in contrast to me, to earth, to our solar system seemed incomprehensible. How unfair to be confronted with a reality that we can’t grasp, a reality that’s dangled before us, teasing and mocking our triviality, size, and ignorance.

Who among us can begin to fathom the knowledge, the power, the reasoning, the truths and the purposes that went into the Sombrero galaxy (which is just one among billions of others)? Here we are, so small and so isolated, a speck of the creation with so much in our view but so infinitely beyond our grasp. It’s like a starving prisoner put in a guillotine while someone within his sight eats a six-course meal as the blade falls.

The only thing that can save us from this absurdity is the Gospel, the hope of redemption, the promise that our lives are of infinite value and that one day everything will be resolved, made right, and explained by God. As Paul wrote to the Corinthians; “But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30).

In Jesus was shown the wisdom of God, and in Jesus we have been offered the righteousness of God—"For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21)—and in Jesus we have been sanctified and redeemed.

Sure, the universe is big and we are small, and were it not for the hope of the Gospel, we could easily succumb to the despair of being overwhelmed, swallowed up and consumed by a cosmos that, in and of itself, doesn’t seem to care a wit about us and our hopes and dreams and desires. But, yes, Jesus, He has showed us that one greater than the cosmos, the one who in fact created and sustains the cosmos, the Sombrero Galaxy included, loves and cares about us, and our hopes, dreams and desires.

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