04 April 2010

From the Evangelist Desk. April 2010 edition.


How big is your God?

When I was at school all those years ago, (1974 or there about was when this debate took place), I remember a science lesson where we were asked to identify how big the universe actually is.
The debate was long and sometimes heated, and in the end there were two distinct camps.

Camp 1 stated that the universe ended at some point. When challenged on giving information of what comes after the universe? They suggested blackness, nothingness. They were then asked how long this blackness and nothingness continued? They agreed that it continued infinite, (never ending). One sure thing gained from the debate was that they were comfortable with this point of view because the universe could then be quantified and calculated.

Camp 2 stated that the universe was in itself infinite, never starting and never ending. A mind blowing thought even to those who resided within the camp. When asked by the other group how much life would you say was in the universe then? The only answer that could be given was less than infinite, because it could never be explored.

Some who kept quiet were in Camp 3. Luckily at the time they did not contribute to the debate because there was enough hot air about, with people saying, “The universe must end,”  “No it mustn’t,” that if they had thrown in their pennies worth we would probably still be debating today.

The quiet ones, (Camp 3), thought that everything is a made up of molecules, therefore our solar system mimics a giant atom with electrons and neutrons. Everything we know of is made up of atoms. Therefore we are living on an electron or neutron travelling around the atom, (the sun), and who is to say that we are not part of another object? Enough of this, as I said, I am glad that they did not throw their towel into the debating ring at the time.

I have a question for you all. If all those involved on the day, including those outside of the debate, that being Camp 3, were Christians, whose God is the biggest? Would any of the groups be in danger of departmentalising God?

Exodus 3:14, ‘I Am The One Who Always IS’.

I for one feel fairly certain that our Lord God was, is and always will be. But my small and simple mind cannot try and comprehend the infiniteness of our Lord God. Was God ever formed? When was God born? Was God ever born? Will God ever give me the answers to these and many other questions that I have?

If you are a CAMP 1, is your perception of God within Camp 1 also? If so is there anything stronger than God that could defeat the strength and shielding that God is offering?
If you are a Camp 2 person, then surely there is nothing, other than your own unbelief that can stop the strength and the shield of the Lord God being your complete and utter protection.

If you are in the quiet Camp 3, what molecular structure do you place upon the Lord God?

Psalm 28:7

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.

Depending on our views of the universe, it can influence how we would perceive the Psalm above. I believe that if we are in trouble and feel stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea, recitation of Psalm 28:7 will surge our senses with strength and protection that cannot be breached by anyone or anything, that is if we truly believe that our Lord is infinite.

I am reading ‘New seeds of contemplation’, by Thomas Merton. In chapter 5, he really caused me to pause for thought, which gave a time of reflection far exceeding an hour. The comment was, ‘ A tree gives glory to God by being a tree. For in being what God means it to be it is obeying Him. It consents so to speak, to His creative love.’ The chapter moves through humans having to be their true selves to give glory to God. But how many of us can truly say that we show the outside world our true selves? How many times do we have masks and false images in place to fool people that we are what we are not?

Are we able as the human race to show our true selves to others without feeling vulnerable? But my true self is not your true self; our true selves are individually made by a perfect God, to give glory to Him.

Do we actually recognise our true selves? Can we say that we actually look in the mirror, (metaphorically speaking), and not wish for more, set goals that are not of God and will detract our worship of Him?

So in summary, how big IS Your God? The God I know is infinite, larger than the largest thing that I could every image, so large that I don’t try to image Him.

May God bless you and your families and keep you safe.

Rick Hayes

© Rick Hayes, April 2010