Stew on This: Space Satellites & How to Connect with God Sermon Illustration!
In the early 2000s, I worked at Kennedy Space Center. I wasn’t in a technical area – that is way beyond me. I worked with people in human relations. My times there were enjoyable, making me more interested in and intrigued by the space industry.
Many of the rockets don’t carry human lives, but seek to position satellites in space. It’s been 59 years since the first American satellite went into orbit around Earth. Today there are hundreds of them circling the planet. Each is designed for a different purpose. Some are for communications, some navigation, and some are weather satellites. For these satellites to function properly and fulfill their purpose they must get in and remain in the proper orbit around Earth. If for some reason there is a malfunction and it doesn’t reach its intended orbit, it may exist in space, but is lost to its purpose and effectiveness.
While I was at the space center, they launched a telecommunications satellite intended for a geostationary orbit over Asia. Geostationary means it is moving in the same direction as the Earth’s rotation and its orbit (path) lies over the equator. From our vantage point, it appears to be a fixed point in the sky.
Something went wrong. The fourth stage of the booster rocket, designed to propel it into its final orbit, shut down. The satellite was stranded, circling the Earth but unable to fulfill its intended function.
We are created and designed to live and enjoy life only when we are in the proper spiritual “orbit.” Our lives need to be “circling” or centered on God and following the path He designed for us. We live life enjoyably and effectively only when we are connected with God. Sin has broken the connection and put us in the wrong orbit. We are lost to God’s intended purpose, which means we have also lost the inner sense of fulfillment and satisfaction that only comes from being who God made us be. We try to fill that void and “lostness” with pleasure, entertainment, and accomplishment. They are only shallow, temporary substitutes for the real, lasting thing.
When a satellite malfunctions and fails to reach its intended orbit, it cannot correct its failure. Rescuing the satellite requires a communication signal from Earth to try and reposition the satellite.
We are incapable of overcoming our “failure” to be on the path God designed for us. To get us connected back with God, Jesus had to come from Heaven to Earth to “save” us.
Jesus came to carry out God’s rescue operation of lost humanity, to deliver us from “lostness.” Jesus brings us back into the path of life God designed and intended for us. He restores us to a relationship with God. That was Jesus’ purpose. In His sinless life and His death on the cross, He was “saving” us.
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,” (I Peter 3:18, ESV).
That’s the good news. There is a way to get back into connection with God. It doesn’t matter how far a person has gone out “into space” away from God, through Jesus Christ they can be “reconnected.” That was Jesus’ mission, to make it possible, and our mission is to communicate to people that it is possible and available.
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