I found the television coverage of UK astronaut Tim Peake and his two colleagues embarking on their space exploration compulsive viewing.
Among Tim Peake’s tweets back to earth were the following: ‘It was a beautiful launch and we got straight into the work. The first sunrise was spectacular. We also got the moon rise which was a pleasure to see’, and ‘View of our beautiful planet Earth from space is simply stunning ‘space’ is so intimidatingly black...I’m captivated by it!’
Like the New Horizons Space Project of last July, perhaps this journey into space will throw some more light on what is only a minute part of God’s creation. I began to think about how the earth is one of an unimaginably huge number of planets. In fact, there are actually around 100 billion habitable, earth-like planets in the Milky Way, and roughly 500 billion galaxies in the universe.
I find myself wondering at how God could send His Son to intervene in the affairs of this small world to offer us a path out of our journey to self-destruction towards eternal life.
Christmas is a time to think outside the box of this world, when He who built the starry skies comes to dwell among and redeem us. If, at this time and in the aftermath of the Paris atrocity, all should seem uncertain or lost, let Christmas be a sure sign that this need not be so. God has come to offer us a way out, to show us the way to eternity. The way is pointed out to us by the baby in the manger.
“The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,” is precisely about how God intervenes in human affairs, He grants to the world healing, hope, release, forgiveness and renewal. He Himself is Love. We are now the means by which God continues to intervene in the world.
Very Rev Dr Wm Morton, DL
Dean of Derry