Tonight I attended a preview of the grand opening of the brand new planetarium at Boston's Museum of Science.
In addition to the gorgeous show of new technology, animation, and sound, and the interesting new information about the search for life on other planets in the universe, it gave me a great opportunity to think about the spiritual ramifications of life on other planets.
When I was in high school I had a bit of a breakdown one night when I first wondered if the laws of God applied to life on other planets! For some reason, I found it difficult to imagine that God would know anything of them. The words and teachings of Jesus seemed so tailor-made for the people of earth.
But tonight, as we soared through the amazing reaches of space, learning about the distances, the possibilities, the ever-crumbling limitations I felt entirely differently. It dawned on me what a glorious thing it is that in the event that there is other life out there in the universe, the laws of God apply as much to them as they do to us.
Love your neighbor as yourself. Is it actually universal? It must be.
A God who is infinite love, not only loves creatures we don’t know about yet, but made them!
We think we have a difficult time resolving conflicts that arise out of cultural differences? Hah! What about a culture that comes from 100 light years away? Possibly unfamiliar with basic things that are the most obvious to us? With an entirely different way of approaching the whole phenomenon of life? And yet infinite love is so infinite that even cultural differences like that can be worked out through its practice - recognizing the God-created nature of every being. If God created all that was made, then the spirit of Love is resident with every creature.
Can you imagine the butterflies in the stomachs of people around the world when and if we first interact with other creations?
How important it will be to approach that new, uncharted relationship, armed with our understanding of God's goodness – the inherent goodness of every one of Love's creations.
God bless the human striving for understanding! - reaching out longingly into the stars, yearning and hoping, scanning the heavens for more…