The earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.
According to our best estimates, the observable universe contains up to two trillion galaxies. While different galaxies contain varying numbers of stars, the Milky Way probably includes about 300,000,000,000 (that’s 300 billion) of them.
In addition to these stars, Astronomers also think that there are at least 300 billion planets…in our own galaxy alone.
Every planet begins as grains of dust, in orbit around a star, that inevitably begins to contact one another. Excruciatingly slowly, they form into clumps of matter that eventually combine into plantesimals (which are about six miles across). Continued collisions cause these plantesimals to grow by only a few centimeters a year. After about ten million years, these “formless voids” become massive enough so that their own gravity begins to round them into a more recognizable sphere-like shape.
Our own planet was once such dust, swirling around the average-sized star that we call the Sun. Unimaginable numbers of inconceivably tiny particles eventually bumped into and joined each other, gaining mass, momentum, and form over millions and millions of years.
But our Interstellar satellite was blessed. Scripture tells us that a “wind from God” blew over and touched it. Earth may have been shaped by the laws of physics, but the breath of the Lord transformed it. It became the place for God’s work, for God’s promise, and for God’s future.
Heavenly Lord, thank you for our Earthly home, for all the beauty found on and around it, and for the mysteries of the universe. Empower us to be more than dust, to live the lives you have given us, and to glorify you in all that we do. Amen.