In the Bible, God says, “Let there be light.” With His word God brings forth all there is. Father George Lemaitre, a Belgian priest, was the first to postulate the Big Bang Theory. If you close your eyes and envision the results of God’s words you can get a glimpse of creation.
Heaven we are told is the dwelling place of God. We are also told by Jesus that a place in Heaven is prepared for us by Him and that it will be our eternal home. Eternity is a concept that is hard to wrap your brain around.
As mortals we are used to the concept of time. There are twenty four hours in a day. We may work an eight hour day that also requires a forty five minute commute each way. We number our age in years and look forward to retirement around age sixty five.
If you study history, the United States is two hundred and forty years old as of 2016. Jesus was born over two thousand years ago and Moses lived approximately four thousand years ago. Our ability to grasp this span of time is tenuous. But scientists tell us that the Earth is over four and a half billion years old and the universe is about fourteen billion years old. If you were to live to one hundred years, you would need to do that one hundred and forty million times to equal the universe’s existence. And yet that is a blink of the eye when you speak about eternity.
But wait a moment; time itself is part of God’s creation. When He spoke everything into being God did not fill an already existing empty space with energy and matter, He actually brought forth the space in which everything now exists. The universe itself came into being out of nothing and began as an infinitesimally small point that then expanded and continues to expand to this day. It was this expansion, first noted by Edwin Hubble, which led Fr. Lemaitre to conjecture that the expansion had a beginning. Time also was created along with the matter and energy. For a simplification, consider that time is a measure along with distance and velocity that connects all there is in the universe.
Heaven is not located some place many parsecs away from Earth. The universe exists within God. As such, God exists outside of Time and Space. The Bible tells us a million years is like a day and a day is like a million years to God. Angels, the church tells us, are able to move at the speed of thought and we are to become like angels in the next life.
Think about a location other than where you are and you can be there now! If you can think of more than one location, you could theoretically be in two or more places at the same time because you move at the speed of thought. Distance is now meaningless and time is not in the equation for our journeying from place to place.
If our brain had the capacity, we could potentially be everywhere at once if we could simultaneously think of everyplace at one time. That is beyond our ability but it is a trait that we ascribe to God, that is, God is omnipresent.
So eternity in heaven is not measured in years, in fact it is not measured at all. It becomes a state of being for us. We exist at some point of creation with God and with a thought can move to some other point, always remaining with God and experiencing a different aspect of Him.
Our physical universe is huge. It occupies a space about fourteen billion light years across. The Hubble Telescope probes this vastness to reveal new galaxies, thousands of them, each containing millions, some maybe billions, of stars. Each star is a possible home for life. But the universe contains more than stars and planets. Scientists speculate on the existence of Dark Matter and Dark Energy. Their existence is postulated based on observations. Dark Matter may account for seventy percent of the mass of the universe and yet it is invisible to our eyes.
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth, of all things visible and invisible …
But our dwelling in eternity is infinitely greater because we will dwell in God who Himself is infinite. We will have unlimited time to realize unending truths about Him and His creation. We will not need a telescope to observe because He will gladly reveal to us His sublime nature. We will be able to rejoice in each manifestation and then with a thought be amazed at the next. Our imagination is incapable of comprehending the possibilities.
Eye has not seen and ear has not heard, what God has ready for those who love Him.
God gave Fr. Lemaitre a gift when He led him to the theory of the Big Bang. He also gave us a gift in that it offers a hint of the indescribable that will be our life with God.
The heavens proclaim the glory of God, but they pale in comparison to Him.