1. Elizabeth Elliot fell asleep today in Christ, decades after her first husband Jim was faithful unto death as a martyr-missionary in Ecuador. I am sure both now share the infinite persuasion that Christ was worth it all.
2. An article in the New York Times in which I read that a supermassive black hole with the density of 21 billion suns has been discovered, along with a 10 million year-old B-flat 57 octaves below Middle C. I marvel at the creative goodness of God, for whom none of this was necessary, except that it exist for his purpose of self-donating delight.
From martyr-missionaries to quasars—the most important thing there is to know about everything arrived in the face of Jesus of Nazareth. As embodied conscious agents fashioned in the image of a God who is infinitely joyful, we share through worship in the purpose of this first stage of his creational project as brief flashes of beauty in a titanic web of infinitely complex worlds. Yet, that the universe is mammoth does not thereby render us inconsequential. The gospel speaks to each of us as objects of God’s compassionate attention—regal features of existence with whom God is intensely concerned, even unto death, as the cross of Christ demonstrates, and as each martyr-missionary re-presents.
Moreover, through Jesus we learn that death is a story stopped, not a story discontinued. When God raised Jesus from the dead, all of the world’s sad histories of misery and pain were victoriously usurped by the presence of the future. As Elizabeth Elliot wrote, “Of one thing I am perfectly sure: God’s story never ends with ashes.”