Got your attention? Thought so. But, wait a minute; hold on. Don’t let go of your favorite gospel tune. David, sweet singer of Israel, concluded Psalm 150 (verse 6) with the words—Let everything that has breath, praise the Lord. I’m convinced that, in this case, a disco lyric is part of “everything.” Especially when we focus our attention on the heavens. It reigns supreme among a billion starry wonders in our solar system. God created this colossal fiery sphere. He lets it breathe cataclysmic gulps of gas into the universe. And He called it the sun. So, I’m turning a disco beat into fervent praise. Start with the title, “She’s A Bad Mama Jama,” then just make up your own words.
It’s Saturday, its March, its 73 degrees in Nashville and I’m writing outside on the deck. Drinking sweet tea and eating old fashion shelled peanuts from the downtown Arcade (a tradition my husband started). Gazing up at a nearly cloudless sky, I’m thanking God for His awesome sun.
When God finished speaking creation into existence, He sat down and said: “That’s good.” Not that He needs my concurrence—but I agree. God, You are awesome. When it comes to the sun, God might also have said: “She’s a bad Mama Jama.”
Life magazine recently reminded us that, while we’re accustomed to seeing the sun as a life-giving force, we forget about it’s awesomeness and how downright terrifying it is.
SOHO, the space-based Solar & Heliospheric Observatory, captured this solar prominence erupting from the sun’s surface. According to Life, such loops of superheated gas rise hundreds of thousands of miles, suspended for months at a time…eerily gorgeous reminders that our sun is an unfathomably large and volatile nuclear reactor, releasing every second more energy than humans have used in the last 10 thousand years.
Consider this: You may never have pondered the sun—what it is, where it is and what it’s like in comparison to us. And you may never have asked: What is the source of all that power, heat and boundless energy? Who lit it? How does it stay suspended up there? And here we are, third rock from the sun—a sun that’s just close enough to warm you yet far enough away not to burn you up or set your hair on fire.
Kim was the first to draw my attention to it. At breakfast after a family wedding, she asked: “How many times can the earth fit into the sun?” So we imagined the sun as a huge bowl; our guesses were wildly wide-ranging. Her answer was astonishing. One million times.
In a world that’s so incredibly UNpredictable, there is one thing you can count on…our unbelievable sun. It drives the oceans, the currents and our climate. Sunlight is the secret to life. Our sun provides an umbilical cord of light stretching across a vast 93 million miles of space. It breathes temperatures up to 1 million degrees Fahrenheit. If you listen, you can almost hear it’s heartbeat.
The sun was the subject of an historic sermon by African American former slave, The Reverend John J. Jasper, one of the nation’s most famous preachers. His landmark message: “De Sun Do Move.” Folks came from around the world to hear him, even if they disagreed with his scientific hypothesis. Jasper preached it by invitation more than 250 times and once before the entire Virginia General Assembly. I don’t think anyone ever convinced John Jasper that the earth revolves around the sun, but that’s okay; we can appreciate his baptized-by-fire enthusiasm for God and His creation.
And so, this blog post is for YOU, a lesson from the sun and an 80’s disco beat. You…with the audacity to believe your problems are too hard for God to solve. It’s for you…whenever you think you’ve gotten yourself into something too thorny for God to untangle. The God who created the majestic sun, flung it into the heavens, balanced it’s fiery presence on an invisible cord and hasn’t let it self-incinerate—that God. Next time you’re in doubt, break out in your own song and know that the great God of the universe can surely fix absolutely anything you’ve got broken.
For the curious, you’re invited to read John Jasper’s sermon (in original dialect) on the web site of Virginia Commonwealth University at http://bit.ly/fbVhq9