Colossians 1:17 “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”
Ephesians 1:23 “which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”
Nova last night broadcast a curious show about Space – What Is It. Not merely the “outer space” with which we are all familiar. But the more exotic space, like the space between atoms. As any physics student knows, atoms, the smallest of matter’s building blocks, are composed of electrons “revolving” around a nucleus. And just as there are vast distances between the solar system’s planets and the sun, so are there vast distances between the atom’s nucleus and the electrons, relatively speaking. So that truly, the atom consists mostly of space.
But if there is nothing smaller than these elements of the atom (leaving aside the exotic world of sub-atomic particles), what indeed makes up this Space?
You gotta love science. With the gift of intelligence and creativity coupled with an insatiable investigative curiosity man has pondered the construct of the physical universe which is his domain and he wants to know everything about it. He knows only what his eyes see and constructs theories to explain that which meets his gaze. Thus some very fanciful ideas have crept into mainstream culture. Copernicus gave us a realistic view of the solar system, confirmed by Galileo, Newton gave us the concept of gravity, Darwin gave us Evolution, Einstein gave us the relativity of the fabric of space-time. There almost seems no limit to the heights of man’s imagination. In fact or fiction.
Not that there is anything wrong with investigating to the fullest extent possible the creation we inhabit. When God made man in His image that depth of mind was an integral part. Indeed today, it seems incomprehensible that one can hold a palm sized plastic electronic device and capture teensy weensy waves of radiation that swirl all around us, capture and harness them and enable us to speak to another person hundreds and thousands of miles away. When thought of in this way the phone seems utterly inscrutable. Small wonder then that the designs of the foundations of God’s creation remain inscrutable. If man could comprehend how God made and sustains the universe in all its intricacies, it wouldn’t be much of a creation, eh?
But back to the show last night, and Space. Indeed, what is it? Can it be something that is comprehensible? Can the electromagnetic forces that hold the electron in orbit around its nucleus be comprehended? Or the forces binding the proton to the neutron? Or the fabric of the curvature of space-time? The verses at the head of this article give you an idea of where I’m heading.
God, who created all the things that have been created, or as the Gospel writer says of Jesus Christ, “All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being” John 1:3, Jesus Himself was God as the agent of creation. So how do all things, atoms, subatomic particles, gravity, space, time, hold together? By none other than the One who offered Himself on the cross for our redemption. I believe that’s exactly what Paul is saying in the verses above. He is writing for a completely different purpose perhaps, but the reality is clear, none the less. That is why Paul could tell the world’s great philosophers gathered to hear him atop Athens’ Acropolis that it is this God that “is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist . . . ” Acts 17:27-28. And we can see that “in Him” indeed we all exist. It boggles the mind, does it not? Not unlike atoms, and the spark of life, and all the other taken-for-granted aspects of life that we usually barely give a moments notice. Not that the creation is God, or God is His creation. But there is an intimate relationship between the creation and the Creator. Like the writer of the book of Hebrews puts it, it is Jesus Christ who “upholds all things by the word of His power.” Hebrews 1:3
Since in reality God Himself is so intimately entwined in our daily lives, our very existence, it should give us pause. To realize He is really that close to every one of us every second of our existence! Think about it, since, as Jesus told a gathering, “Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Luke 12:7), God’s involvement in our lives is on a macro and microscopic level. In fact I would say that if at any time God, for even an instant, forgot about us, we would simply cease to exist, since He is the power that binds all things together.
So be comforted. God does not forget about you as you occupy your space on earth. He has cared enough to send his Son to our world for our salvation, and daily holds the physical universe together, for the benefit of everything in and outside of space.
[Scriptures taken from the New American Standard Bible © 1995]