All In All
I’ve always been fascinated with Astronomy. But I find it very hard to say exactly why this is. I certainly feel taken a back, for example, and a sense of awe and reverence for the sheer magnitude and scale of other planets & stars and the general size of the known Universe. But I often wonder is there a deeper meaning to it all and what might it be? If we consider Astronomy is one of the oldest Sciences and just as popular with Christian and Non-Christians today, it’s obviously not just me who thinks along these lines.
C.S. Lewis, for example, apparently once exclaimed that the idea of other planets exercised upon him “a peculiar, heady attraction.” In Psalms we hear David’s poetic and intriguing verses about the heavens: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. V. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. V. 3 There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. V. 4 Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world ”–PSALM 19:1-4
It’s somewhat cryptic, but to me it suggests the starry host isn’t just an impressive display of lights and distant stars. There is a deeper meaning to it all.
I think the deeper meaning is that because we are God’s children and even created in His image, we are somehow drawn nearer to Him when we look at the heavens and that we are mysteriously yet somehow spiritually familiar and attuned. We recognise the overarching total truth of the Universe i.e. that God is all and in all.
I like how David refers to it all in Psalms as the Heavens. We’ve become so accustomed to hearing and using the word “Space” but I think this is completely wrong because it suggests an empty vacuum. The heavens are completely ordered and structured. In fact the Greek word ‘cosm’ (from Cosmos) means to organize, arrange, and to embellish.
Recently, a good friend recommended to me a fascinating documentary: The Star of Bethlehem, in which a very well argued case for what was the Star of Christ at His birth in Bethlehem is put forward (well worth watching). Underpinning it all is that we live in a Clockwork Universe where we can identify, comprehend and predict accurately the location of planets and stars at any time we choose. This includes the present day, the future and also rewinding back into the past! The conclusion of the documentary is that if the stars were arranged at Creation as the Bible tells us, then any signs we might identify are as old as time itself. And God in His infinite knowledge had written this in at the very beginning. So perhaps now we are getting closer to the deeper meaning of David’s Psalm 19: that the heavens are telling of God’s glory which is that He is the All and In All.