Have you seen the Milky Way recently?
If you have, you can count yourself among the fortunate.
Astronomers say that light pollution from artificial lights is strong enough in many places to blot out the stars. They’ve calculated that over a third of humanity, and almost 80 percent of North Americans, can no longer see the Milky Way. Indeed, here in Toronto we’re lucky if we can even see the Big Dipper.
Few of us seem to recognize how sad this really is.
Vision scientist Sonke Johnsen does. He wrote:
“The thought of light traveling billions of years from distant galaxies only to be washed out in the last billionth of a second by the glow from the nearest strip mall depresses me no end.”
We seem to devalue the incredible gift of the night skies. We don’t pay it much mind when it’s there. And if we can’t see it any longer, the loss is of little importance to us.
Why is it that losing our connection to the wonder of our galaxy doesn’t seem to bother us? Is it our self-sufficiency? Are we so caught up with our shiny, man-made baubles that we’re blind to our need for something real?
I think this detachment from the cosmos speaks to a spiritual apathy, too.
How is it that we’re indifferent to the awesome gift of the Son of God?
Jesus travelled an inestimable distance from Heaven to bring us His light. Why are we not astounded by this? Why do we devalue Him?
Again, perhaps it’s our pride and self-sufficiency.
We figure we can manage by ourselves, thank you very much. We think we don’t need a Saviour. We’re more interested in shopping.
Why don’t we all just look up from our phones and take in not just the wonder of the galaxy, but the wondrous God who made it all?
“From the creation of the world, God's invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly observed in what he made. As a result, people have no excuse. They knew God but did not praise and thank him for being God. Instead, their thoughts were pointless, and their misguided minds were plunged into darkness.” (Romans 1:20-21)
The good news is that this problem can be corrected: we can get to know this awesome God. He came to earth in the form of a man, Jesus, who bore our sins for us at the Cross.
“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” (John 12:46)
This God loves us and wants a relationship with us. All we need to do is repent of our sins and accept Jesus’ substitutionary sacrifice on our behalf.
Then, our whole life will become aglow with the radiance of Christ. The love and peace and forgiveness we experience through Him will outshine any heavenly body.
So look up, and see what you’re missing!
© 2023 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.