It Has Been A While…
Getting a fresh start on writing after over a year’s break in the action is a little hard. I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, but primarily focused on one theme – how big God is. This theme crystallized for me a couple of weeks ago at a worship team retreat with my fellow worship leaders at Orange Hill Baptist.
Part of the program on this retreat was watching the video of a seminar for song writers led by Louie Giglio, recently “retired” fro the leadership of the 722 ministry here in Atlanta. I understand from a friend that he also presented similar material at North Point Community Church in Alpharetta on September 11 and September 18. (You can listen and/or watch for yourself at http://www.northpoint.org/sermons. I recommend the video to get the full impact of the message.)
The subject was how big God is. And of course it is impossible to think about how big God is without making the comparison to us. I want to explore this some over the next few weeks, mostly for my own benefit. If you read this and get something from it that’s great; your comments are welcome.
As I’ve thought more about God’s bigness over the past couple of weeks I’ve realized that I live, think, and serve with too small an idea of God most of the time. Popular Christian culture twenty-five to thirty years ago when I was a teenager was moving toward the idea of God as Daddy. Statements like “crawling up in God’s lap” were common in descriptions of prayer and worship; a warm, fuzzy God instead of an awesome, infinite, incomprehensibly big God. While the concept of the tender father is certainly biblical (calling to God as Abba Father), getting too focused on that picture is incomplete at best.
Louie uses pictures of the stars and galaxies and nebulae to illustrate the enormity of what God created. Distances measured in the mind-blowing unit of light-years. Think about it…while you can get your head around the logic and science of something moving 186,000 miles per second, and understand that one year of travel at the speed is a really long way, we don’t even have a frame of reference to grasp the reality of such a distance. I know, for example, that the distance from my fingertips to my elbow is about eighteen inches, that the widest span of my hand from thumb to pinky is about eight inches. How to I get a tangible picture of what a light-year looks like? And God is bigger than the whole universe that we don’t even know the boundaries of yet.
In our world of awesome pictures from places in space that are incomprehensibly big and are incomprehensible distances away, we have somehow lost our sense of God’s vastness. We are too intrigued by the creation to be awestruck by the creator. Read Job 38 – 41, or better still listen to it with an audio Bible. We need to reacquaint ourselves with the immensity of God. If we do, we can not help but be changed.