Today’s Word from Pastor Jim…
This from June 30th, 2020: “An unusually bright star has gone missing, a mystery of cosmic proportions.”
I am not sure if you have been paying attention to the evening sky but if you gaze upon the Kinman dwarf galaxy, you will notice that something is missing. A massive star that was there, is now gone. This star was 2.5 million times as bright as our sun. The future seemed bright and then, just like that, it disappeared. Now scientists are scrambling to figure out what could have possibly happened. There are at least three options: 1) a dramatic unexplained drop in luminosity; 2) perhaps some space dust moved in, obscuring our view; 3) the star transformed into a black hole without sparking a supernova explosion. What are the odds of that?
Scientists will keep working and perhaps someday we will know what happened to that very bright star in the Kinman dwarf galaxy. But for now, let us consider this strange occurrence in the seeming darkness of pandemic 2020. If the star lost its luminosity, or hid behind dust, or disappeared altogether, then it happened 75 million years ago. Wait! What? That is correct. The star is located some 75 million light years away from earth. That means that the twinkle, twinkle illumination that greets our eyes in the evening sky has been travelling at the speed of light for the past 75 million years. I remind you that the speed of light is 186,282 miles per second. I tried to convert that to miles per hour and my calculator broke.
Besides totally blowing our minds, perhaps this will somehow put our lives and this inconvenient pandemic into perspective. We, personally, will survive this Covid-19, or we won’t. Humanity will most certainly survive and science might find it easier to discover a vaccine than to solve the mystery of that disappearing star. But God is in control. God, our creator God, the God of heaven and earth, the God of galaxies and star systems unknown, the God who knows when every sparrow falls, the God who increasingly spends less time counting the hairs on my head, is in control.
2020 has been somewhat of a disaster. The word disaster finds its etymology from the ancient Greek, French, and Italian; the combination of the words “bad” and “star,” literally “dis-astro.” It makes sense that the brightest object in the Kinman dwarf galaxy would disappear in 2020. Scientists don’t understand it, and there is much in this life that we don’t understand. Get used to it.
Our God is an awesome God, merciful, slow to anger, the master of the universe, the keeper of all the stars, the answer to all the mysteries. Be not afraid. Be of good courage. Our hope is not found in our bodies, or our intellect, or our faith, or our righteous living. Our hope is found in the one who created us in a galaxy called our mother’s womb, and who will take our hand when this journey is over, and take us home.
I know that this pandemic is wearing on you; it is wearing on me, but to quote my aunt, “It could be worse.” We could have invested our retirement funds in a senior living community in the Kinman dwarf galaxy!
Keep smiling—after all, we are one day closer.
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