Monday, December 6, 2010

Caught In A Moment (Part 5): The Pale Blue Dot - An Advent Reflection

As the Voyager space probe left the solar system it turned and took one last photo. The earth is only 0.12 of a pixel. The photo prompted astronomer Carl Sagan to write,

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives… on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam

Our posturing, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves… Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

(‘The Pale blue’ dot 1994)

Christmas tells a different story. It looks beyond the physical to the spiritual and to God. St John does not start his story of Jesus life with the tale of the baby in the manger but like Sagan looks outward to cosmic beginnings. He says that we are not alone rather that in the darkness of the void of space and in the darkness of the worst of our human condition God has shone a light. Jesus is that light. In Jesus God became one of us. God is with us and for us as we live out our existence on this precious mote of dust. God offers us hope and help if we will turn to Jesus. The one who came at Christmas came to offer us abundant life…a fresh start and his abiding presence to bring hope, peace, love and joy.  Enabling us to live in a new way that is hope filled for this pale blue dot

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