And suddenly there was a chorus of “You are holy! Holy!”
This past week Fox and National Geographic debuted the reboot of Cosmos. Not being quite the science geek that my best friend is, I hadn’t planned on watching it. However, he reminded me it was on, we enjoy watching TV together virtually, and so I settled in to see what it was about.
It was exciting!!! I learned a lot about science, astronomy and the histories of our universe and the field of astronomy, but I learned something else, too. I learned that my God is even bigger than I imagined. “Well, duh,” you’re probably thinking. As we look at the universe from the perspective of earth, it’s pretty small. But when we look at the universe and earth from the perspective of far outer space, we are pretty darn insignificantly minuscule in relationship to the whole.
There was this monk named Bruno who loved looking up at the skies, and he started reading the books that the Church had banned. He realized that the universe is far bigger than anyone had imagined, and the idea of this excited him. He figured from this that an infinite God had to have created infinite universes, and possibly even put life on them. For such radical views, Bruno was kicked out of the monastery and went around sharing his beliefs. Eventually, unfortunately, he was jailed, tortured and burned at the stake. The Renaissance-era Church just wasn’t ready for a God who wouldn’t fit into its box.
As I learned this, I thought, Is the god of the modern church big enough to break free of the buildings (God – big G – definitely is!)? What would happen to the church if she realized that God is far bigger than the box in which she wants to put God? Once we stop making God in our own image, then God can be as big as God needs to be, as big as God truly is. God is far bigger than our churches, far bigger than our earth, far bigger than our universe.
Some people who embrace science don’t have room for God in their mindsets. Many Christians don’t want to acknowledge the role science plays in the world, and certainly not in creation. Science and faith do not have to be mutually exclusive. I believe God created the heavens and the earth (Gen. 1:1); there is no reason in the world why this creation couldn’t start with a big bang. The Bible says God created the earth in seven days. The scientific evidence proves that our earth came into being over millions of years. Yet, an epoch can be as a day to God.
Our finite minds struggle to grasp an infinite universe, so to even try to comprehend that God is even bigger stretches even the most wildest imagination. And yet, that is God. That is the God who created us, who knows our innermost being – our thoughts and feelings – and who loves us in spite of ourselves.