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Pastor’s Desk: We aren’t the center of the universe

Posted on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 at 4:09 pm

Pastor Chris Baker, Centralia First Baptist Church

Over 500 years ago, Nicolaus Copernicus looked up at the night sky and made some calculations.  Over the course of what was likely a number of years Copernicus developed a dangerous theory.  His theory was that the sun, not the earth, was the center of the universe.

Around 100 years later, Galileo Galilei came along and argued the same thing but both men were met with opposition.

It took over 200 years from the time Copernicus published his first statement until this now foundational scientific truth was accepted by the mainstream.

There are a number of reasons both Copernicus and Galileo were met with such pushback, even excommunication from the church and arrest.  Some of the reasons were scientific and some of the reasons were religious . . .but I have a theory of my own.  I think that humanity really doesn’t like to be

Rev. Chris Baker, Centralia First Baptist Church

Rev. Chris Baker, Centralia First Baptist Church

told that we aren’t the center of the universe.

On an individual level we might not be that arrogant, right?  But most of us at least view ourselves as the main character of our own story.  One secular psychologist put it this way:

It’s far from uncommon to imagine that you are the main character in your own life. Indeed, it seems fairly widespread for people to act as if they are the main character in all of human history, the crowning achievement of evolution and the culmination of God’s inscrutable plan. (Michael Karson, ‘On Being the Main Character of Your Own Life’; https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/feeling-our-way/201501/being-the-main-character-your-own-life)

I think that might be a little strong.  I doubt that you think of yourself as the crowning achievement of evolution.  But most of us—I think—do view ourselves as the center of the story.  When you watch a movie it’s the main character who is the focus and we tend to think of ourselves as the main character.  You’re the one who appears in every scene, the voiceover doing the narration is your own, and the movie doesn’t end until you die, right?  A lot of us are hoping to get to that happily ever after one of these days and that’s a frustrating pursuit.  We find ourselves staring into the camera doing a frustrated monologue like Zack Morris or Jim Halpert depending on what generation of TV you grew up watching.

Genesis 37:1-2a:37 Jacob lived in the land where his father had stayed, the land of Canaan. 2 These are the family records of Jacob. At seventeen years of a