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A Symphony of Epiphany

 

Hey, Christmas isn’t over yet! Today marks the “Twelfth Day of Christmas,” or Epiphany Day. In popular culture, Christmas is about a sweet little baby in a manger, but Epiphany reminds us of the bigger picture, the “appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).

For many God is an unsolvable mystery, hardly worth thinking about. If you’re in that camp, the Apostle Paul has some words for you:

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse” (Romans 1:20 NIV).

Of course, no one can “prove” the existence of God as one can prove the law of gravity by simply dropping a ball. But the evidences of divine handiwork are all around us, and new notes to His beautiful score are being discovered all the time. Here’s five:

DECORATING THE HEAVENS FOR THE HOLIDAYS

The NGC 5189 nebula in the Musca galaxy sounds yawn-inducing, but one look at the starry gas should change your mind. A couple of years ago, the Hubble telescope captured stunning images of this bluish-red nebula, which some have compared to a hanging Christmas tree ornament.

MAGNETIC SEAL

SealThe Weddell seal, which lives in Antarctic waters, can dive hundreds of meters deep in search of prey. That alone is an astonishing feat, but they also have the uncanny talent of zeroing in on breathing holes on the surface of the ice. Based on recent research, marine biologists think they know how they do it: the seals possess a built-in GPS system, using the Earth’s magnetic fields to guide them. This would be an unprecedented discovery, as no other water mammals are known to have this trait.

RARE EARTH

No, I’m not talking about the 70s r & b band. I’m referring to a scientific theory that states that life-sustaining planets may be extremely rare due to the complex set of factors that must occur.  Naturally, not all scientists agree with the Rare Earth Hypothesis. To coin his own famous phrase, the TV astronomer Carl Sagan, believed that “billions and billions” of habitable planets are out there. Yet, as cosmological knowledge has increased exponentially since his death in 1996, more scientists are jumping on the Rare Earth bandwagon. Many more admit that the mere existence of the universe is mind-blowing, given the fine-tuning that had to happen to make it come together. British astronomer Fred Hoyle, who confessed that his atheism was shaken by these discoveries, wrote, “a common-sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super-intellect has monkeyed with the physics, as well as with chemistry and biology.” 

PRESSURE’S ON

Last November, a new fish was discovered in the Pacific Ocean. But what’s even more exciting is that it dwells five miles down–deeper than any fish that has ever been found. A denizen of the Mariana Trench, which stretches to a dizzying depth of eight miles, the fish has ghostly fins and a see-through bodyYou and I could not even survive at the upper rim of the Mariana Trench. At the very bottom, the pressure would be as much as 100 elephants standing on your head.

 3,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

This ridiculous number–which is three septillion, by the way–is how many stars may be whirling around in the cosmos. It’s three times as many as astronomers thought prior to 2010, when the powerful Keck telescope in Hawaii picked up on a mess of red dwarf stars in eight faraway galaxies. How much is three septillion? Literally more than all the grains of sand on the beaches and deserts of our planet. This number freezes the human brain, but it’s nothing to God. Like a field general, the Lord marshals His stellar army and remembers each soldier with ease:

“Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing” (Is 40:26).

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So there you have it: five revelations for this season of Epiphany. Most assuredly, the universe will keep revealing surprises and wonders until the end of time. But you and I don’t have that long. Now is the time to take stock of the song we’re singing in front of God and others every day. Are you hitting flat notes because you’re anxious, bitter or regretful? Christ can help you sing a new songa melody of faith, hope and love.  Let Him teach you. 

Seal picture courtesy of xenxen via stockxchng

 

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