Today: Monday, December 09, 2019

Six big questions #1: what does it all mean?    (4/10/2016 )

Do you ever stop and wonder why you exist? Why you’re standing, so tiny and insignificant, on what feels like a huge planet—but is really only a tiny part of just one galaxy? Why are we all here? Do you wonder if you even really matter, in the greater scheme of things?

When we think about the backdrop of the universe, it can be quite frightening to think how small we truly are. The sun’s diameter is 100 times bigger than the Earth’s—and yet the sun is only one of around 100 thousand million stars in our own galaxy alone! Our earth is like a tiny bright dot in an infinite darkness, broken only occasionally by other, often much larger, bright dots.

I once heard it said that if the Earth's creation happened one second after midnight, people arrived about four seconds before the next midnight, 24 hours later!

As the writer of the book of Psalms in the Bible prayed to God,

“When I consider your heavens, 
the work of your fingers, 
the moon and the stars, 
which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?

(‘Mindful’, from a Hebrew word, suggests God constantly remembering and caring about.)

Seeing it this way makes our own concerns as individuals seem so unimportant, our existence so pointless, our destiny so inconsequential. We might worry about being late for a bus, or what to have for our next meal, or whether our friends still like us—but do these things really matter?

What is God's perspective?

Let’s try looking at it a different way—a way that doesn’t really take account of size or distance or location. Imagine if our very humanity was what made us more important than anything else. Imagine if we were actually the very centre of everything; imagine if everything revolved around us. How important would that make us?

Because I think this view is actually closer to the truth. Humans may be a very late addition to the universe, but we are God’s ultimate creation, the fulfilment of his plans.

We are the ones whom God has chosen to call into relationship with him. It was in human form that Jesus stepped into the world, so that he could live among us and be one of us, even as he was also God. And as John [NT] 3:16, put it:

“God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

THAT is how much God loves and cherishes us! And yes, we matter—very much. Our biggest and smallest concerns are important to our creator God, who tells us to bring everything to him in prayer.

This is one of Six Big Questions
Read more about ‘What if you are not here by chance?’ in Six Big Questions, a 24-page A5 booklet which encourages you to ask hard questions about the Christian faith—and which offers some answers. You can download it instantly, or get it by post, for just £3.95.

Next week, we’ll consider “How can God love me in a world of suffering?’

Pray: Lord, it can be hard enough to feel important in human terms, let alone in terms of the galaxy or of what's important to you. It is mind-blowing that I am really important to you, and loved so much by you. Help me to take that on board! Amen.

Think about: Why do you think God cares so much for us?

Challenge: This week, as you go about your daily life, remember that each person you encounter is enormously important to God, and let that direct the way you feel about them, too.

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