hebrews

The Gift of Christ (Eliot Moon)

Eliot Moon.jpg

The bright, burning flame, the colorful tree, stuffed stockings, and gifts under the tree – these are some of the things I remember about Christmas growing up. Yet the most significant tradition I remember in my household was attending the annual Christmas worship service at church. The privilege of partaking in a time of remembrance of the birth of Jesus Christ with my mother, father, and older sister was, without a doubt, an impactful moment for me. I had grown up in the church my whole life, and being taught of Christ’s virgin birth on Earth showed me the humility of our Lord. I believe seeing the selfless role He took as fully God, yet also fully man, made way for me to truly accept Christ as my personal savior. Hebrews 2:17 tells us this:

Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
— Hebrews 2:17

On a personal level, Christmas today means continuing the celebration of Jesus’ birth with my family, friends, and brothers and sisters in Christ. Christmas is not about expecting to receive a certain number of gifts from those around me. Christmas is not about the reindeer, the songs, Santa Claus, and the food. Christmas is about recognizing the greatest gift was already given to us, and that gift is Christ and Christ alone. Christmas also gives me a heart of gratitude for the great qualities that came with Jesus: salvation, redemption, justification, and propitiation, just to name a few. As the sign of Jesus was a promise for believers to enter into the new covenant, I now have the opportunity to respond in faith and offer my life up to Him.

2017 has been one of the most difficult years for me. Disappointment, constant failure, and fear of the future left me feeling anxious and doubtful. Yet through this winter season, God has constantly revealed to me that though I may experience times of struggle and difficulty, He is always there. I do not have to hope in the temporary things of the world. I can place my full trust in Him. He is the author of my future, and my solid foundation amidst rough waters. I pray that we would all be mindful of the fact that it is all about Christ. May we remember the significance of His birth, which is a sign for new life. May we look forward for the year 2018, and the many blessings Christ has in store for us.

What's All the Fuss in Space? (Stanley Ng)

Computer generated illustration of  two orbiting black holes emanating gravitational waves. (Image: Henze/NASA)

Computer generated illustration of  two orbiting black holes emanating gravitational waves. (Image: Henze/NASA)

Have you ever came across a news feed or article about something phenomenal and didn't have a clue about it? You might begin to wonder whether or not you live under a rock or something...

For me, one of the things that I found very fascinating (and over my head) was this news about gravitational waves. The fascinating part wasn't necessarily the context, but more so the publicity that it had received:

 

Brian Greene stops by Stephen Colbert's "The Late Show" to demonstrate the exciting new scientific discovery of gravitational waves. Surprisingly, Brian Greene's book, The Elegant Universe,  piqued my interest in supernatural philosophies of life.

 

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to listen to astrophysicist Jeffrey Zweerink (RTBUCLA) give a lecture on all the fuss about these gravitational waves. If you're interested, I recommend watching the video and visiting LIGO CalTech for more refined details because they can explain the phenomena much better than I can.

Although the post may seem so far out of place in this blogosphere, there is one thing that can be extrapolated from everything that I learned that evening: science points to our awesome God. How so? To be brief:

First, the gravitational waves that were reported pointed to things in the universe that scientists never even knew existed. If anything, this is humbling to know that we barely know anything at all!

Second, the laws of physics are maintained so consistent across the fabric of space, it points back to the Lord using science as an illustration reminding Israel and the world of our worries and fears. Here are some key moments in Scripture where the Lord points to science as an illustration to His unwavering faithfulness to His people:

33 Do you know the ordinances of the heavens?
Can you establish their rule on the earth?

34 “Can you lift up your voice to the clouds,
that a flood of waters may cover you?
35 Can you send forth lightnings, that they may go
and say to you, ‘Here we are’?
36 Who has put wisdom in the inward parts
or given understanding to the mind?
37 Who can number the clouds by wisdom?
Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens,
38 when the dust runs into a mass
and the clods stick fast together?
— Job 38:33-38 [ESV]
He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.
— Hebrews 1:3 [ESV]

Third, gravitational waves gives us hope to see beyond our limitations. I can imagine my peers getting overly excited that two graphs matched up (with a 7 ms time displacement). This was the sign, this was the key. When the lines matched up, hope and excitement ensued immediately. But, imagine the hope and excitement that Christ has given for us. We're no longer slaves to sin, we're no longer stuck in a pit of sorrow, we're no longer teased by death itself. While I don't want to discount this scientific discovery, I also wonder, "What if the world had the same excitement for Christ's two nail-scarred hands as these scientists have for these two correlating lines?"

In certain circles, bridging science and religion has been difficult for people to support. One side of the argument will say that science limits or "puts God in a box." That is to say, God can only operate with a certain limitation that is defined by the physical laws of the universe. The issue with this claim doesn't begin in the statement, but rather in the false claims that science leaves God "in-the-box".

I personally think that we need to be more aware of the things around us and when can't comprehend it all, we need to rely on others to make sense of God's natural revelation (how God reveals to us in the natural, everyday world) to us. Whether a handyman, the local barista (I encountered one of my old students this week!), or the daily grocer, I find myself always being sharpened by the many professions that I come across. My encouragement isn't to understand everything that I've presented in the news (quite frankly, I don't either), but to see how must of a greater blessing it can be when we fathom the vastness of our Savior.