“…Why stand ye gazing up into heaven?”
Mount Graham in Arizona is home to the International Observatory, where some of the most technologically advanced telescopes in the world are found. On the mountain, the Vatican has the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope (VATT) which first started operation in 1993. There is also the University of Arizona’s Lucifer (Large Binocular Telescope Near-infrared Utility with Camera and Integral Field Unit for Extragalactic Research), an instrument attached to a telescope that when chilled to approximately -351°F allows near infrared images to be seen, which astronomers hope will assist them in answers to questions of galaxy and star formation.
Obviously, we find some raised eyebrows as to why the Vatican has an observatory on Mount Graham and why its immediate neighbor is named after Satan himself. Conspiracy theorists have plenty of ideas about this topic. However, my question is why is so much money and time being spent on star gazing? Is it merely to research apparent origins (the Bible already tells us), or do these instruments have another purpose, as well? The purpose being, to answer the question, “Are we alone in the universe or are there more advanced extraterrestrial civilizations who hold the answers to life’s questions?”
While there seems to be a whole lot of gazing going on in an effort to find meaning and purpose to life, I am reminded of when Jesus ascended into Heaven. The disciples and those in attendance had gathered around to receive final instructions from Jesus and then watched His ascension into the clouds. Scripture makes it pretty clear these guys were mesmerized by watching Him ascend. They just could not stop gazing into the sky. Some of these fellows probably hurt their necks, because they had been looking up for so long.
Could it be that modern Christianity suffers from the same neck pain from gazing? What do I mean? Well, eschatologically (study of end times) speaking, I hold to a pretribulation view of Scripture, where I believe that the next big event on God’s time clock is the sound of the trumpet and the Church of Jesus Christ will be raptured out of this world. I know there are many reading this that have a whole different take of Scripture regarding end times, but indulge me for just a moment. Could it be that those who hold the same pretribulation view as I do are just simply relenting America and the wickedness around the world over to the devil because we believe Jesus is coming back any minute? SHAME on us if we do!
The disciples, before Jesus went up into Heaven had just received their marching orders. The orders, found in Acts 1:8, told the disciples to be witnesses first in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the uttermost part of the earth. Can I say that if we are busy gazing, we cannot be doing the final marching order that Jesus gave to not only His disciples, but to all followers of Him today? We are to be witnesses of what Jesus Christ has done in our lives. We are all commissioned to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is the message of hope in a dark world. I am not going to stop looking up for our Lord’s return, but I do not want to be found gazing, so that I miss out on an opportunity to tell someone else about Jesus our Savior. What about you? Have you relinquished your posterity and this nation over to the devil, because you’ve been gazing? Maybe today, you would see that we can make a difference if we are willing to be the witness He has called us to be.