Thursday, 13 December 2012

13th December 2012

From where we are on mother earth, we look up, and we look out, beyond ourselves and our survival needs. The heavens, represent for us the beyond, all that is above knowledge and imagination, and it's a natural desire to reduce the boundaries of our ignorance. Only in the last few minutes of the day in the comparative timescale of human evolution has our species been able to stand completely outside this planet and start exploring the solar system.

As tiny witnesses to the overwhelming vastness of the universe, we are conscious that nothing we know exists without birth and death. The second law of thermodynamics concerning entropy postulates the death of the universe is inevitable, its finite quota of energy will eventually be exhausted long after our solar system and planets have been devoured by stellar and cosmic processes. 

Such a vast timescale is impossible to grasp, as is the moment of our own demise, yet as Christians we live knowing the  inevitable. We strive to make the most of whatever time we receive gratefully, conscious of life as a gift from our Creator. God originates entropy and isn't subject to it.

Christians hope in God's work of redemption: healing transforming and setting all things free, making a disordered world as it was intended to be at the outset of creation. This isn't shallow optimism persisting in the face of daunting facts. It's rooted in a higher vision of life, a sense of meaning which emerges as we tread the path of faith.

The heavens above are a universal symbol of where God the Creator dwells. Christians believe God's presence is made known through divine activity in the universe, but believe there is more to God's being than this. The cosmos itself is not divine. The cosmos, alive with divine energy, is contained within God's being. The more value we place on the gift of life, the less we can be indifferent to its Author. In trust we look beyond everything known or knowable, longing to relate to God, longing to understand the meaning and purpose of this gift of existence.

From the 'beyond out there', we keep being drawn back to the 'beyond within ourselves', equally unknown. Here we learn relatedness to others. Here love becomes the crowning reality of inner experience that dispels fear, hatred and despair, develops compassion, trust and confidence. Love is a gift we receive at the heart of life itself, a gift we learn to understand and use well. It's a gift that grows as we give it to others.

When we reach out with longing to the 'beyond out there', doing so with love makes for a unique kind of growth in the spiritual dimension of ourselves. It percolates into every aspect of relationships. We look to heaven, to the One from whom redemption comes - we know not how, but we trust in love that it does.

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