Herald Journal Columns
June 13, 2005, Herald Journal
Pastor's Column

How big are you? How big is your God?

By Rev. Robert Rupprecht, St. John Lutheran Church of Hollywood

Have you ever stopped to think: how big is your God?

Or, better yet, have you ever stopped to make a correlative comparison of the relative size of you and your God?

I would like to share an illustration to help put you in the proper frame of mind to understand this comparison. First, I would like to get you accustomed to relative sizes of some things around you with which you might be more familiar.

Consider the largest single physical feature with which you can associate in the United States, the Rocky Mountains. If you stand at the foothills of the Rockies near Denver, and you gaze upon the massive expanse of the Rockies, your relative size begins to shrink. Hold that thought.

Now, let’s take the Rockies and place them on a model of the earth, such as a 12-inch globe. How high would you build the model of the Rockies on that globe?

You may have seen some children’s globes that have the raised relief on them to show mountains. Let me assure you that that illustration is deceptive. If you were to breathe, open-mouthed, onto the surface of the globe, the condensation of your breath would already be too thick for the Rockies’ relative size on that globe.

Now, consider yourself on that globe; how big are you?

Let’s take our model another step. Imagine that a basketball represented the sun; how big would you make the earth, and how far from the basketball would you place your earth model? On this scale, the earth would be the size of a bee-bee and it would be in orbit at the distance of about 35 yards (105 feet) away.

How big would you make the Rockies on that bee-bee? How big would you be?

If you expanded this scale, our solar system would be approximately three miles across from one side of Pluto’s orbit to the other side. On this scale, our galaxy, the Milky Way, would be a model that would have a diameter of 250,000 miles, or the distance from here to the moon! Our next nearest star would be a basketball near Duluth!

In all of our universe, we have thousands, no millions of other galaxies that are so distant that they are not visible to the naked eye. They are thousands of light-years away.

You may wonder what this has to do with the relative size of us and God? It is time we look at scriptures.

Note Psalm 86:8: “There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours.”

Also look at Jeremiah 23:23-24: “Am I a God at hand, declares the Lord, and not a God afar off? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him, declares the Lord? Do I not fill heaven and earth, declares the Lord?”

Think of the dynamics of a God that is the creator of all things, who covers all His creation, and who is incomparable to any other gods. Matter of fact, God says in Isaiah 45:5: “I am the Lord, and there is no other, besides me there is no God.”

The psalmist says about his God, in Psalm 33:6: “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host.” God’s greatness is beyond our understanding; His almighty power is incomprehensible.

How great is God? How big are we? Compared to God, we are microscopic; we are subatomic particles to our Creator.

So, how do we, as microscopic, subatomic particles on a bee-bee, dare to tell God where to go? That is the point St. Paul presents in Romans 8:20: “But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder ‘Why have you made me like this?’”

That is the arrogance of mankind; that is the total rebellion of man from his Creator. But God does not give up on His creation. The psalmist, David declares in Psalm 36:5: “Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.”

You see, God has a plan, a plan that is still in effect, as Paul illustrates in Ephesians 1:10: “a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in Christ, things in heaven and things on earth.”

As a child of God through Jesus Christ, we can accept the words of the prophet Micah in all humility; from Micah 6:8: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

Once you have understood this, how great our God really is, only then can you have that proper relationship with our God, in all humility, as depicted in Micah.

May this put everything in your life in a new perspective.

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