Blinded by Our own Brilliance

One night you have a dream. You are floating in the utter blackness of deep space.

An eternity seems to pass, but nothing changes. It’s just you and the velvety, dark, star-sprinkled sky.

Far off, in the remote distance, you notice a tiny disk of light. Squinting, you see it slowly unfurl into a spangled, spinning, puddle of stars. Somehow you know this is the Milky Way. For eons you drift toward this glowing, expanding mass.


Messier Galaxy - Wikipedia


Scanning its starry arms, you hope against hope that you can pick out an insignificant dot that you’ve known all your life as the “sun.” For some reason, you seem to be attracted to a dim pin-point buried in an arm about two thirds of the way out.

After drifting closer to the little dot for many millennia, you are finally so near you can see planets! You spot a tiny Saturn with rings, and then make out Jupiter with its red spot.

Your heart leaps to see a blue-green marble appear.

Slowly the spinning orb grows larger… continents and oceans become visible under a blanket of clouds. As you descend through the stratosphere, mountain ranges and deserts flash past.

Now, below, you see splashes of light—cities aglow by night. Orienting yourself toward home, you feel yourself slowing as you fall. Through some amazing miracle, you gently land on your own…

Considering the Context – A Talk I Gave

Below is a talk I gave at the morning service at Cornerstone Church in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts a few months ago.

I introduced people to my interest in Jesus’ cultural context and then shared a Hebrew idiom that unlocks part of the Sermon on the Mount. Then I spoke about what it meant to be a disciple in the first century, and how this informs how we should follow Christ today.

For more about inviting me to speak see this page.