Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: The Church (12/06/07)
TITLE: Object Lesson
By JoAnne Potter
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In a moment, the first star winked into sight. While it could, it reigned alone, one light in the deep, but its authority over the sky didn’t last. One after another, Galileo saw the rest of them come into view: the small and great bears, the queen Cassiopeia, King Cephus, and the great dragon. He let their myths delight him again, almost not marking the planets as they appeared; Mercury, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter and Venus. Tonight he would not think on how they moved as they did. Tonight he considered why.
He could do little else, after all. Edict confined him to this place, making his home a comfortable cell. Here he now yielded to a privilege enjoyed by other old men. Here he could indulge in slow, if not idle, thought.
He stood long enough to watch the constellations begin their wheel around his head. They moved in perfection, in unified order, but to what command? For too long, astronomers all thought it came from Earth. Aristotle, Ptolemy, Kepler, and Brahe all believed that the Creator of all things designated Earth to carry every other planet and the sun itself in obedient orbit. They were wrong, their view too short. They manipulated the mechanics, but forgot the mind of the Maker.
Ironically, Copernicus, who knew little about creation, saw more clearly. The Lord of all did not place man or his earthly home in the center of the universe. He couldn’t. The center of the universe belonged to a power greater than either of them. Men, like planets, reflect, not command. They manifest splendor, but only secondarily. Even when their Source hides from plain sight, should it vanish, they would fall into black ash. No man, no apparent noble, no ecclesiastic can ignore dependence on his creator any more than the sun can be subject to the earth. Without the sun, the earth dies. Man cannot supercede God. The celestial realm follows the same rules as the spiritual one. The Lord of all things does not contradict Himself.
“Yet, here I am,” thought Galileo, “a prisoner to contradiction, in thrall to men who mouth God’s supremacy, but defer only to their own.” He took one long, last look at God’s celestial object lesson. “We cannot gather in your name, Almighty Father,” he prayed out loud, “unless we bow to your ascendant control.” Yes, the sun was at the center. It must be so. Galileo smiled and turned toward his front door.
God is light. In Him there is not darkness at all. If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His son, purifies us from all sin. 1John 1: 5 & 7
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