Monday, April 28, 2008

looking up

This week's passage from Acts is a challenge to fit into my way of seeing the world; it tells of Jesus' ascension after his post-resurrection days on earth. Having continued to show people the life-changing power of the Holy Spirit and of Resurrection, he leaves our reality to be with God. Acts describes this as happening by his ascending into heaven.

Now, my picture of the universe complicates this. I have trouble imagining Jesus ascending to God when I know that ascending from earth would mean being transported through light-years worth of ever-expanding space. I imagine it, it's kind of exciting to imagine the implications this reminder of how vast our world is, and, then, how much more incredibly big God and God's love must be!

I have a favorite image of the relative size of space, from a film the Ray and Charles Eames made for IBM in the 1950's. Hopefully, you can see it by following this link or below.

God, who is God of the whole universe, is larger than I can wrap my mind around. And, yet, invites us to live in unity--with God and with one another. This is incredible.

John's gospel contains this prayer from Jesus, offered as he drew near to his own earthly death: that we would be one. As members together in the body of Christ, on a little round planet, swirling a smallish star in an arm of a spiraled galaxy in a cosmos beyond our measure.

May it be so.

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