On April of 1990, the crew of the space shuttle Discovery launched a twelve-ton telescope into orbit. It was named after the astronomer, Edwin Hubble. Since it operates beyond the distortion of earth’s atmosphere, it has enabled scientists to look at the universe in a whole new manner. What they have seen is staggering.
From September, 2003 through January, 2004, the telescope took a series of images that are known as the HUDF (Hubble Ultra Deep Field). It is our most penetrating look into the universe. They purposely targeted a small patch of what appeared to be empty space. This “patch” was one thirteen-millionth of the sky (the rough equivalent of what you would see if you looked through an eight foot straw). What did they find? About 10,000 galaxies! Each one containing millions of stars and planets. The current estimate of the present size of the expanding universe is anywhere from 50 to 150 billion light years across!
And our Father created it all!
In fact, He simply spoke and it was. (Parents, wouldn’t we like to have this kind of power?). There is no power like God’s power! There’s no sovereignty like His! “Dominion belongs to the Lord,” (Psalm 22:28).
But it’s not raw power alone that’s good news, is it? “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” We have sayings like this one for a reason. History is littered with examples of the abuse of power. God’s power is good news because of how He uses it. “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you,” (Psalm 89:14). God uses His power to create and sustain life. He uses His power for what is good, right, and true.
And despite His incomparable power, God never loses sight of any of His creation. Jesus told His disciples that not a single sparrow fell to the earth without His Father knowing about it (Matthew 10:29). He went on to talk about how God knows the number of hairs on our head (v. 30). Granted, for some of us that might not be particularly impressive, but in that case He also knows the number we used to have. (For those of you smirking because you are without follicular issues, it would be good to keep in mind that He also knows the original color of our hair).
No one knows us like our Father! There are nearly 8 billion people on this earth and He knows and loves every one of them. The total number of people who have ever lived is estimated to be around 100 billion—all loved and known by Him!
All of this forms a valuable part of the backdrop for understanding the birth of Christ. Sure, Jesus took on skin and came to the world as a vulnerable baby, but there’s much more to the story. As Paul learned, power isn’t manifested merely in strength; it’s also demonstrated in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). A baby was born and Herod felt threatened! He wanted the infant dead but was unable to accomplish that (how can a baby defeat a king?). A tax decree issued by the emperor of Rome (Caesar Augustus), didn’t take Joseph and Mary away from the place prophets had predicted the Messiah would be born, it brought them to it (Luke 2:1-5; Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:3-6). A star guided the Magi to the Jesus. God (in the person of Christ), became vulnerable yet it is clear that even in His vulnerability He controlled the mightiest powers. And why did He do all these things? He loved us and wanted to bring us back to Him!
Our Father controls and cares. In a world that worshipped the love of power, the birth of Jesus shines as a testament to the power of love. That’s worth celebrating!