From the Parent CouncilNew Page 1

From the Parent Council

"God of wonders, beyond our galaxy…" So the praise song goes. Have you ever really thought about that? We live on a small planet that hurtles around our parent star at more than 60,000 miles per hour. It takes years for us to send a spacecraft to one of the outer planets in our solar system. The nearest star, Proxima Centauri, is still so far away that none of us could make it there and back in one lifetime, let alone many lifetimes. It's nine years round trip at the speed of light … and that's just to the closest star.

On an average dark night, away from city lights, one can see about 5,000 stars. Of these objects, one is the Andromeda galaxy - the most distant and the most massive object that can be seen with the naked eye. Our galaxy, the Milky Way, is 100,000 light years in diameter and contains 1.9 trillion stars, and it's really just "average sized." The Hubble Space Telescope is the size of a bus and orbits the Earth, giving astronomers unmatched views of the cosmos. About three years ago they pointed Hubble at a seemingly empty patch of space with no visible stars. Telescopes are really just "light-buckets," gathering light that our eyes are not sensitive enough to see. After many, many hours of exposure time, they came up with an image which has become known as the "Hubble Deep Field" image. At first glance, it appears to be a normal view of the night sky, crowded with stars, until one looks closely and realizes that nearly every object in the image is a galaxy, each containing billions or even trillions of stars, and there are estimated to be billions of galaxies in our universe (read more at apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap040309.html).

How does knowing that make you feel, and how does all this relate to a praise song?

The God of creation, whom we worship, truly is a God of wonders, having made everything we can see or sense or detect. And yet, as vast as the cosmos is, he transcends his creation, existing outside of time and space as we know it. Many who do not know him feel small and insignificant at our place in this galactic soup. But for those who know him and his Christ in the power of his Spirit, it is unbelievably comforting that the God who made everything could care so much for such seemingly insignificant creatures. Such is the significance of Easter: that the God of superlatives became a man and died for us. Jesus' favorite name for himself in the gospels was the "Son of Man," an exclamation mark on our value to the infinite God. Rather than being insignificant, Scripture tells us that human beings have intrinsic value, being the crown of God's creation and made in his image.

Everything we do in this life has significance, whether we realize it or not. Jesus said in Matthew 20:28 that "the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many." Every year students and faculty from George Fox participate in serve trips, echoing the words of Christ and giving a portion of their lives to those who are less fortunate. Parents have an opportunity, as well, to help financially support these trips and the effort expended on behalf of others. This Easter season the Parents Council will ask each parent to think about how they can serve the God of the universe through their students. Please look for more details in Perspectives about how you can help and ask your student if they have considered serving the Lord in this way.

He is risen!

Tony Reynolds, Chair

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