No Earthly Use?

Dear friends,
I’ve had my head buried in the bible and a variety of books as I begin to prepare and plan for our up-coming teaching series ‘For Heaven’s Sake.’ There have been a great number of questions from people and it is clear that there is great interest in the subject matter but I’m also pleased to report that nobody this week decided to make the trip. It’s probably no coincidence that then this week has been a week of admiring the beauty of space. My last two attempts to spend time at a working observatory, in the Pyrenees, France and New Zealand have come to naught. But it doesn’t take much to spark the flame. I see pictures like the one above, an entry into the 2019 Astronomy Photographer of the Year, and Psalm 19 comes rushing into my mind, ‘The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”

On the one hand, there’s nothing like staring into the vastness of space to recapture a sense of our smallness, a good thing to do given our propensity to make ourselves little Pharaohs. On the other, there’s nothing like staring up at the stars for thinking about our mortality, the brevity of life itself and what’s next. To wonder whether there is more, to consider what heaven might be like, to consider the nature of eternity. And the challenge facing us is to consider the implications that this has not just for the next life but for this one. I’m looking forward to a brain-busting, faith-building, hope-stirring time together as we continue with digital church. And my prayer is that Oliver Wendell Holmes famous quote, that “Some people are so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good,” will be tipped upside down, that we would be so heavenly minded that we are of greatly earthly good that as we live life well together in Jesus.

As we love God and love people,

James