JULY 13,2022

Dear Friends,

You’ve seen the pictures, right? I mean, wow.The gallery of images we’re getting from the Webb telescope is breathtaking. We’ve seen similar images created by Hollywood special effects artists, but this is something completely different.

And along with the pictures are the numbers. Astrophysicist Alex Filippenko of the University of California, Berkeley says that the images we’re seeing tell us that “there are between a hundred billion and a trillion galaxies in the observable part of our universe.”

Let that sink in for a minute.

And what’s in a galaxy? Each one – each galaxy Dr. Filippenko says, “has billions if not hundreds of billions of stars.”

How many of those stars have planets orbiting around them?

And what about the stars and galaxies that are beyond the range of the Webb telescope? How much more can there be in the unobservable part of our universe?

It’s mind boggling, isn’t it.

You know what’s even more mind boggling to me? The idea that some people have that this vast universe sprang into existence on its own.

Think logically for just a second. Something has to be eternal, right?

One of the dictums of philosophy attributed to the ancient Greek philosopher Parmenides, who lived about the same time as the Prophet Isaiah in Israel is this: Ex nihilo nihil fit. “Out of nothing, nothing comes.” In other words, if you start with nothing and don’t add anything to it, you’ll end up with nothing every time. It doesn’t matter how much time you give it, a jar full of nothing will still have nothing in it billions of years from now.

So the fact that we have something – anything – in our world tells us that something has always existed. I know. The idea of eternal existence hurts my head too. But I don’t see any other option for the fact that things exist today.

So the debate in our world is whether God is eternal or gas is eternal. Did an all wise, all-powerful Creator make the universe, and fill it with billions of galaxies, each one full of billions of stars? Or has some elemental gas always existed, and somehow over time, the gas grew into rocks and trees and animals and people?

You can draw your own conclusions. But the Bible says that you have to be a fool to look at the night sky and not see the heavens declaring the glory of God.

Not only does the Bible speak to the existence of an eternal God. Our world is a living testimony to the power and wisdom of our Creator God. Our best scientists with our most advanced technology available still can’t create a tree. Or a fish. Or a human eyeball. Or a drop of blood. It takes someone with more skill, more knowledge and more ability to create life.

And think about this. Even if we could somehow create a star, how many people working in how many factories would it take for us to turn out billions of them? What would consume millions of man hours of skill and labor happened when God spoke. All He had to do for the billions of galaxies we see in our universe to exist was to say the word.

The heavens indeed declare the glory of God. “His invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made” (Romans 1:20). So the person who looks into the night sky or who sees the pictures from the Webb telescope and still believes there is no God is, according to the Bible, without excuse. He is a fool.

One final thought as you ponder the immensity of creation. Songwriter Fernando Ortega reminds us that while the universe is vast beyond the stars, the God who created the universe is mindful when a sparrow falls. You are one of more than seven billion people on a small planet in a small solar system in one of the billions and billions of galaxies that exist in our universe. And the God of all creation knows your name, the number of hairs on your head, and the burdens you carry with you today.

My help, the Psalmist says, comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth (Psalm 121:1).

May the images we’re seeing from the Webb telescope stir in us fresh worship and praise for the God of creation.We could use a few hours of your time this Saturday morning – early.

We still have some work to do on our gazebo and our fence for the playground. So on Saturday morning at 7:00 – yes, 7:00 am, we’re looking for all who can join us to show up in the coolest part of the day to see if we can finish out a few of these projects.

The plan is to work until the job is done or until it gets too hot to continue (I’m thinking that could be about 7:22!).

We’d love to have your help. Thanks in advance.

Here’s a quick overview of some of what is happening at Redeemer this month.

And here’s a look ahead at plans we have for August.I know it’s crazy to think about, but school starts back up mid August. That’s like five and a half weeks away. As you enjoy the rest of summer, make sure you don’t take a vacation from caring for your soul!

This Sunday is a Gospel Zone Sunday for our kids!We turn this week from looking at parables to beginning a short summer series in the Psalms. And we’ll start where the Psalter starts – with the first two Psalms that are, interestingly enough, connected. Why not read through Psalms 1 and 2 a few times before Sunday and see if you can spot the connection.

Oh, and one more thing – there will be no This Week at RCC next week. Check your email inbox on July 27 for the next edition.

See you in church.

Soli Deo Gloria!
Pastor Bob

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