And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.—Colossians 1:18-20 (ESV)
In the middle of the Earth’s galaxy, the Milky Way is an enormous space called ‘Sagittarius A’ with an extremely high gravitational pull that it will eat up anything that comes its way, including light.
This is what is called a black hole.
There are several black holes in space with intriguing proportions. ‘Sagittarius A’ in particular has a mass of 4 million Suns. According to NASA, it “would fit inside a very large ball that could hold a few million Earths.”
The other interesting thing about black holes is that they never fill up. Sagittarius A, for example, has been eating stuff since the beginning of time but it still shows no sign of stopping.
It still looks as empty as it was in the beginning.
The human heart—however small it may seem—also has a deep hole which has been eating stuff but still feels empty.
Human beings by their very nature cannot live without worth, value, purpose, approval, and identity. A heart which lacks these is an empty one.
What happens then is an attempt to fill this deep empty hole with all kinds of junk in the hope that things will be okay. Money, sex, property, prestige, jobs, spouses, children, acquaintances, and reputation are some of the things which we daily throw into the deep hole of our hearts hoping that the emptiness will go away.
The condition, however, deteriorates instead of improving. The more sex we throw into the deep hole of identity, the more sex this hole will crave.
We feel empty, worthless, tired and inadequate because, since the Fall, we have been trying to forge a fake rest parallel to the one God indented for us to have, hence the restlessness. St Augustine wrote, “Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.”
Restful rest is only found God alone, the author of eternal rest.
In his epistle to the Colossians, St. Paul writes that Jesus Christ is the One in whom the fullness of God was pleased to dwell and for that reason he reconciled mankind to God by making peace through his cross and blood.
The empty heart has now been met with divine fullness, identity, value, worth, and approval. It all happened because God has moved in love right our wrongs while we were still fidgeting with worthless self-salvation projects to fill the emptiness in our hearts.
Two thousand years ago, God, in his Son, moved heaven and earth to fill the black hole in our hearts, which he successfully did by dying. United to Christ, we now have full access to God in whom our restless hearts can find rest and comfort. That is the Gospel.
Image: S. Brunier /ESO