Creator of universe came to earth
Published 12:50 am Saturday, December 17, 2016
When I heard the news of John Glenn’s death at the age of 95, I remembered an old newspaper my mother saved many years ago. The front page headlines announced Astronaut John Glenn had become the first American to orbit the earth.
On Feb. 20, 1962, people watched on TV as John Glenn rocketed into space. A few minutes after liftoff, the Friendship 7 capsule reached orbit. Glenn relayed from space, “Roger, zero G and I feel fine. Capsule is turning around. Oh, that view is tremendous!”
In 1998, he once again made history at the age of 77 when he went back into space aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery, becoming the oldest person to travel in space. According to the Washington Post, after returning from the mission Glenn told reporters, “To look out at this kind of creation and not believe in God is to me impossible. It just strengthens my faith.”
Space flight was such a new adventure when I was growing up that my family, and at times, my entire school class, watched live broadcasts of spacecraft lifting off in clouds of fire. I remember Gemini and Apollo missions, especially the flights to the moon. In recent decades, NASA has launched unmanned spacecraft to explore planets like Mars and Pluto.
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, launched in 1997, was sent to explore Saturn and its 52 moons. The spacecraft has traveled 934 million miles (10 times the distance from the Earth to Sun) to reach Saturn.
Cassini arrived at Saturn on July 1, 2004 and has orbited the planet ever since, studying its moons. The past 13 years, it has been studying the gas and dust particles of the ice rings surrounding the planet. The spacecraft’s mission will end next year when it will shoot the gap between Saturn’s rings and plunge into Saturn’s atmosphere where it will disintegrate.
Our family once had the privilege of meeting Apollo 15 astronaut Jim Irwin. He autographed a picture of himself standing on the lunar surface with the words, “Jesus walking on the earth was more important than man walking on the moon.”
One of my favorite authors, C.S. Lewis, once wrote a poem titled “The Turn of the Tide” about the significance of Christ’s birth. Michael Ward sums up the poem’s message, “From the landlord of the Bethlehem tavern all the way up to Saturn in the outermost planetary sphere, the entire universe is breathless with expectancy about what is to happen in the Stable behind the Inn.” In 54 short years, we›ve gone from man circling the earth to unmanned spacecraft traveling almost one billion miles away.
More than 2,000 years ago, the Creator of the universe came from heaven to earth. Matthew 1:23 reads, “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Another one of my favorite authors, Max Lucado, has written, “The maker of the stars would rather die for you than live without you.”
Jesus came to die for our sins, so we could spend eternity in heaven with Him.
Jan White is an award winning religion columnist. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.