Cliff Neil wrote the following article in Day By Day on Saturday 26 July:
“The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his marvellous craftsmanship.”
Psalm 19:1 (NLT)
On the 12 September 2013, the Voyager-1 spacecraft which was launched in 1977, became the first manmade object to leave our solar system. On that date Voyager was 19 billion km, or 12 billion miles from planet earth and still going! Having passed Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune and currently travelling at the speed of 100,000 miles per hour; it will not reach another star for 40,000 years. Doesn’t that just blow your mind? This small space probe has indeed gone where nothing made on earth has ever gone before.
Our puny minds cannot fully grasp infinity or eternity. We cannot grasp the enormity of our own Galaxy, the Milky Way which astronomers estimate contains at least 200 billion stars; they also reckon that the Universe contains about 50 billion galaxies. And yet the psalmist tells us; “He counts the stars and calls them all by name. How great is our Lord! His power is absolute!” (Psalm 147:4-5). He also calls on the stars and planets to praise their Creator—notice: “Praise him, sun and moon! Praise him, all you twinkling stars! Praise him, skies above! Praise him, vapours high above the clouds! Let every created thing give praise to the Lord, for he issued his command, and they came into being” (Psalm 148:3-5).
Our small solar system—in comparison to the vast universe—brings us down to size, humbles us and causes us to lift up our eyes and consider just who brought all of this into being. “When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—the moon and the stars you set in place—what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them?” (Psalm 8:3-4).
After 45 years Voyager-1 has exited our solar system and is still finding new frontiers in the darkness of space. I think that we too need to find new frontiers in our worship and praise of the great God who has created it all. “Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song. Sing his praises in the assembly of the faithful. O Israel, rejoice in your Maker. O people of Zion, exalt in your King” (Psalm 149:1-2). Let’s just breathe an Amen!
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