It’s a small world

This is the second of (probably) 6 magazine articles on CEL’s new “messages” which will be the focus of Storm of Hope 2013.  You are welcome to modify for your own parish rags.

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. Genesis 1:31

In 1990 the Voyager 1 spacecraft had completed its primary mission and was leaving the solar system.  At the request of the astronomer Carl Sagan, NASA commanded the Voyager’s camera to turn round and take one last photo of Earth.  The Pale Blue Dot is this photograph.  At 6 billion km, our world looks pretty small, doesn’t it?  But how small is it really?

The answer is: too small.  Too small for the number of us living on it at the standard of living that we have.  It is estimated that if everyone lived as we do in the UK three Earths would be required.  Does Amazon do Earths?  Maybe we could get a deal on the second one.

Many people of faith believe that the Earth was brought into being by God.  According to the Bible, “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good”.  How do we reconcile the goodness and godly-ness of our planet with the fact that it is too small for humanity?  With every trip or transaction aren’t we declaring that when God made the world he did not know what he was doing?  That he should have said that it was quite good, but ideally should be bigger, preferably constantly increasing in size and resources so as to easily allow for an ever-growing economy.  Did God get it wrong, or should we be living differently?


Dave Walker / CartoonChurch.com

Reflecting on the Pale Blue Dot photo, Carl Sagan said, “From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it’s different. Consider again that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us…Every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam…The Earth is the only world known, so far, to harbour life…There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”


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