Ecclesiastes 3: 9-15 (GNT)
9 What do we gain from all our work? 10 I know the heavy burdens that God has laid on us. 11 He has set the right time for everything. He has given us a desire to know the future, but never gives us the satisfaction of fully understanding what he does. 12 So I realized that all we can do is be happy and do the best we can while we are still alive. 13 All of us should eat and drink and enjoy what we have worked for. It is God's gift.
14 I know that everything God does will last forever. You can't add anything to it or take anything away from it. And one thing God does is to make us stand in awe of him. 15 Whatever happens or can happen has already happened before. God makes the same thing happen again and again.
Our view is limited. We are only ever going to catch a glimpse of the world in our own time, and only a bit of the world at that.
The first photographs of the earth from space were a revelation. The whole round earth at once. So beautiful. So blue. So fragile.
And more recently, how haunting was the photograph of the ‘pale blue dot’ - that last glimpse of our planet from a space probe going on its way, beyond, beyond.
Against the universe, we are very small. Against eternity we are like a brief candle.
Events on earth loom large. There are still wars. There is poverty. There is hunger. There is a climate crisis. There is a global pandemic.
There is also love. There is courage. There is kindness. There are people who care. There are people who listen. There are people who speak out. There are people who do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with their God.
We need a sense of perspective, of proportion.
We, so small, need the great eternal God.
God of eternity,
God of the vast universe,
God who thinks that we,
brief candle flames on our pale blue dot,
are worth loving and saving,
we praise and thank you that you came to us,
that you include us,
embrace us, love us,
whoever we are,
in our particular time and place.