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Daddy, how big is God?Posted Monday, November 12, 2012, at 12:54 PM
"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." (Genesis 1.1, KJV).
One year ago this blogger put forth the suggestion Thanksgiving in America entails giving thanks to God ("Finding a God to Thank," Nov. 11, 2011). With any apologies which might possibly be owed political correctness, arguments were put forth that the divine being known in the Judeo-Christian tradition as "Jehovah" is He most worthy of such thanks.
Whether or not one subscribes to said arguments, as we approach another day in which giving due thanks to the Almighty, and with all going on in the real world, a child's question arises: Daddy, how big is God?
When I was a child I was easily satisfied with whatever answer it was my parents gave. Now, for me, no answer is quite adequate. Thus this is a blog with no endgame, mostly just questions.
The universe, we are told, is a very big place. The stars are a long way off -- billions of light-years I think they said. A light-year, if I remember my high school science, is how far light travels in a year (quite a ways when you measure it out). That makes outer space a very big place (maybe not even a place it's so big).
So, is God in the universe, or is the universe in Him?
One of my favorite scenes in any movie is the last 30 seconds of "Men in Black." After all the efforts our heroes go through to save the "universe", the universe as we know it turns out to be nothing more than a glass marble in the hands of some gigantic being playing with several such "universes." The being itself turns out to be merely a child-figure, called to dinner by an unseen parent.
Is the unseen parent how big God is?
Then there is the question of having enough of what we euphemistically refer to as "time." How much is/was there for God to work with? Some insist we have no more than maybe 7,000 years with which to work, and God limited Himself to seven literal 24-hour days of creation. If God is without beginning or end, limited by neither time nor space, did He limit Himself to human limits of a span of time, or it just man who does? Did He take all the time He needed, just creating time to meet the needs of man (perhaps explaining that light-year thing)? Sorry, I haven't time in one lifetime to answer these questions.
Five years ago the congregation of Christ Community Church engaged in a study on the majesty of Jehovah. When we first started, and this was not in the study guide, I began with the following:
Everything you know, everyone you've met, everything that has ever happened in your life, all of human history, the world and all that is therein, God created ten minutes ago.
Don't believe that? Neither did they, nor do I. But, I can try to conceive of God (whatever be His name) bigger than the universe and unlimited by mere time. Perhaps such a concept is inconceivable, fully appreciated only by children.
How big or powerful is the God to whom you might pause once a year to render childlike thanks?
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