|Hubble telescope photograph|
The book of I Thessalonians, written by the Apostle Paul to the people at Thessalonica, is a book of advise to Believers on how to act and interact with each other and with mankind. The book of I Thessalonians doesn't have a "3:16", so I chose the above verse as the topic for this post.
We as Believers, are supposed to be so full of love that it is overflowing to everyone. Not just our closest friends. Not just our family. Not just to those who agree with us, dress like us, have the same skin color, speak the same language... EVERYONE. Now, this does NOT mean that Believers shouldn't stand up for what they believe in... What it DOES mean is that these disagreements need to be handled firmly, but with the best interests of the opponent" in mind. Handled not only with love; but, with "tough love." It can be a tough balancing act... Nevertheless, love covers a multitude of sins.... Love never fails. ( I Corinthians, chapter 13)
I remember visiting a planetarium in Philadelphia when I was a teenager. As I remember it, the planetarium was a big dome-shaped building. We entered and stood, looking upward. Then, the lights were dimmed, and we viewed "the heavens". All the constellations were displayed across the "sky", and they were described by a man with a deep resonant voice. It was an beautiful experience. No fancy special effects like people today seem to think necessary; but, rather, a sense of how wonderfully and perfectly the Creator made our universe.
|Hubble photo of dying star; looks like the Eye of God to me!|
Now, imagine the planets and the constellations from a God's eye view, looking down past the heavens and into the planetarium which is chock-full of people. The people are "packed in like sardines"; there number is vast. Some are sitting on the edge of the done-shaped building; others are lying down. Everyone wants to see the heavens. But it is so crowded. The only ones who truly see the light are those in the center of the dome; they see the light and they hear the resonant voice with the message. Others, further out from the center may see glimpses or hear bits and pieces, but never enough to get the true picture. Those furthest from the center have stopped even seeking the light or the message...
But, wait! There IS an answer! The people in the center of the dome - those who have seen the Light and heard the Voice - can explain what they have seen and heard to the people next to them. This next group can then take the message on to the next tier of people. And so on. And so on. Finally, the message of Heaven will reach the outermost edges of the dome; there will be someone capable of reaching and teaching every person under the dome. Everyone. BECAUSE THE LORD IS THE LIGHT AND THE LORD WILL MAKE YOUR LOVE INCREASE AND OVERFLOW FOR EACH OTHER AND FOR EVERYONE.
Often, the people who need love the most are the hardest to love. These people have built walls around their hearts; they are stand-offish, never letting anyone get too close. They have experiences rejection. Or abuse. Or deep loneliness. They need love so badly. They need "a trip to the planetarium". They need someone to share the Light. The Voice.
Might that someone be you?