The “Universe” Does Not Love You – Kenneth Tanner


The universe is vast, mysterious, dark, and lovely (the images of the universe we are the first privileged humans to see blow my mind and provoke deep emotion in me).

The cosmos makes us ask questions of time and existence and meaning, some of which we cannot answer. Yet the ones we can answer inspire us to know and see and experience more.

The universe is intelligent and beautiful and is created good but it’s not personal and “the Universe” is not a good or a proper way to name God.

The “Universe” does not love you, the “Universe” will not raise you from death, the “Universe” is not patient or kind and it does not hate evil or rejoice in the good.

The “Universe” has not suffered for you, does not bear you up and give you a living hope, and—our science understands this—the “Universe” is impermanent, at least by the laws of physics absent resurrection.

So the “Universe” has not given you life or breath or family or friends or love or made a day special, nor can it grant you sunsets or rainbows or roses, or rescue you from death and meaninglessness without the personal force of Love who has a better name.

The “Universe” does not forgive.

Alfonso Cuaròn indeed showed us in “Gravity” how hostile and cold a wilderness the vast majority of the universe is to carbon-based, oxygen-necessary life, even as in its vastness was made to sustain life under what are rare and almost impossible circumstances in tiny isolated places like Earth.

God is love and this love is made known in a baby human born of a teenaged mother and this baby and this mother suffer—a sword piercing them both—so that the universe might be restored to the permanence the One who made it intends.

The cosmos is great and gorgeous and you might be tempted to deify it but it’s really dark and empty and meaningless without the tri-personal God whom John called Love and whom Mary named Jesus.

Christ is all. Christ holds all things—all microcosms and galaxies—together.

Christ is light and life and in his flesh and in his suffering all things are made new and all things are sustained forever.

The “Universe” is his beloved creation but when you seek to honor or praise or name its maker and keeper—the one who holds you together and gives you all things and excites joy in the deepest places of your heart—use the name above all names.

PS My apologies for offending any of my dear friends…I understand many of you who are questing and seeking for the truth that is out there though you can’t quite name it…but I finally had to take this on, head on. I heard the “Universe” invoked by Christians in praise just one too many times. I wrote this—trust me—in all charity.

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