Friday, July 18, 2008

A mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam

At Homegroup this week we watched Louie Giglio's preach 'Indescribable' which looks at the way the universe tells of the glory of God, climaxing with the Cross. During it he displays this 1990 picture from Voyager.

Carl Sagan: "We succeeded in taking that picture [from deep space], and, if you look at it, you see a dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam. The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena... Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light."

Sagan doesn't join up the dots to see how our smallness in the whole picture is because we need a vast universe to show us even a fraction of God's glory, humbling us to worship God - though he does challenge our self-importance.

Psalm 19 tells us that that is exactly what the universe is singing about. God's canvas is bigger than anything we've imagined. We're very small. Our God is a great big God, and he stepped into his universe to gather a people for himself.


  1. Reminds me of a favorite quote by Sam Allberry:

    "The sky is God's daily blog. Each day the message is unchanging, and yet brought to us in an unending variety of ways. In eloquent silence we have the glory of God proclaimed to us (Ps 19:1). We're reminded of God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature (Rom 1:20). The stars remind us of the scale and dimensions of his creation. The greatest understatement in history has got to be Gen 1:16 - "He also made the stars", as if a casual aside. They speak of his might and our need to worship him. If we see our smallness before the stars (Ps 8), we should also see his greatness."

  2. The universe is a very big place. However it is a massive understatement for God. The amazing thing really is how small it is...

  3. Isaiah 40:12 gives a bit of insight to the greatness of God compared to the universe.
    He's a pretty big God, this God of ours!

  4. Yeh, that's one of the references Giglio considered. One thing I found quite stunning was to consider

    And God said let there be light...
    and there was light. Light coming out of the mouth of God at 186,000 miles per second.

  5. "Who is like the LORD our God, the One who sits enthroned on high, who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth?" (Ps 113:5-6)

    The LORD stoops down to see the 'speck' of 'deep space' too! (Which is really quite 'shallow space' if a proper perspective).