Canon Dr Alan Kerbey OBE is a Lay Canon and a member of the Chapter of Wells Cathedral, he works with the Genesis Trust in Bath, and also with SPCK, and is a consultant to a number of other Christian organisations.
A recent TV documentary showcased the breath-taking immensity and complexity of the universe. Cosmologists tell us that the first galaxies in the universe began to form around 13.2 billion years ago. There are now over 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe. Each galaxy contains billions of stars. Our own Milky Way galaxy contains approximately 200 billion stars. The vastness of the Universe is unimaginable, a massive expanse containing billions of galaxies, each of which contains billions of stars. The distances involved are beyond the capability of our minds to comprehend. Even one of our nearest galactic neighbours, Andromeda, is 2.5 million light years away. A modern day spacecraft would have to travel for around 30 billion years to reach it. And some of the furthest known galaxies exist over 10 billion light years from Earth.
As mere mortal souls we are but specks in this infinite expanse of space. But time and time again God reveals to us through His Word, and through our personal experience, that he is interested in the minute – and, to us, the often seemingly unimportant – aspects of our lives. In my own walk with God, through my work and ministry – from serving as a member of the Chapter of Wells Cathedral to working with the Genesis Trust in Bath to help disadvantaged and vulnerable people to get their lives back on track – a recurring question is often along the lines of ‘how can God who is the creator and sustainer of this universe, the One ‘who flung stars into space’ and who is all-knowing, all powerful and all-present, be interested in restoring a world that is broken through injustice; where our greed has plundered the land and damaged the environment; where wars continue to maim and kill; where sin has broken and scarred our relationships with one another, broken up families, divided people of different cultures, races, and beliefs; and where our world is torn and divided violently at every level.’
In this world of such uncertainty and unpredictability, we can be sure of God’s promises; we can feel totally secure about our future here on earth, and beyond that, be confident about our eternal destiny. As we approach this Easter period, there is one overriding fact that continues to give me, day by day, supreme confidence and hope. The greatest needs of mankind – love, mercy, forgiveness and justice – converged at a moment in space and time over 2000 years ago at a place called Calvary. When Jesus gave His life sacrificially on the cross, justice was revealed, mercy was instituted, love was demonstrated, and forgiveness was offered.
For God who said “let light shine out of darkness” made his light shine in our hearts
2 Corinthians 4:6
What does it mean to you, in your life, to know the God who created the Universe?
We first shared Alan’s story as part of the Bishops’ Lent Appeal 2017