As you may have seen this week, NASA revealed some of the first images gathered by the James Webb Telescope.  The Webb Telescope was launched on December 25, 2021 and the first images were revealed this week, on July 12.  The Webb Telescope itself represents a partnership between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).  It is the largest and most powerful space telescope in the world!  Here is a gallery of the images so far if you’re interested in seeing/learning more:

In some of the images, we can see thousands of galaxies.
We can view planetary nebulae (clouds of gas and dust that dying stars expel).
In one image, we can clearly see Stephen’s Quintet—the grouping of five galaxies that we perhaps know best from being featured in the movie It’s a Wonderful Life.
Or we can see the edge of a nearby, star-forming region of space in the Carina Nebula (the image above in this edition of Thursday Thoughts).

Anyway, I encourage you to look at the images and simply be in awe this week! 
The images could make us feel rather small in comparison to the vastness of the cosmos.  Yet we remember the words of the Psalmist, that God actually does pay attention to us, too.  Meditate along with Psalm 8:3-5 and let God’s creativity, human ingenuity, and the beauty of creation sink into your heart:

When I look up at your skies,
    at what your fingers made—
    the moon and the stars
    that you set firmly in place—
        what are human beings
            that you think about them;
        what are human beings
            that you pay attention to them?
You’ve made them only slightly less than divine,
    crowning them with glory and grandeur.

Pastor Lauren 

Description of this image from:
“This landscape of “mountains” and “valleys” speckled with glittering stars is actually the edge of a nearby, young, star-forming region called NGC 3324 in the Carina Nebula. Captured in infrared light by NASA’s new James Webb Space Telescope, this image reveals for the first time previously invisible areas of star birth.
Credits: NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI”

Thursday Thoughts 7/14/22