An Evangelical Church in the Heart of Thatcham
Date:February 24, 2020

Hidden figures

Just 10 days ago the world learned that the renowned African-American mathematician, Katharine Johnson, had passed away at that grand old age of 101.

Ms Johnson was hired by NASA in 1953 to be, what they called at the time, a “human computer”, using nothing much beyond pencils, slide rules and graph paper. The work she did was extremely key in calculating rocket trajectories and getting the first American astronauts safely into space and back.

NASA announcing her death on Twitter, said it was celebrating her life and honouring “her legacy of excellence that broke down racial and social barriers.” Her time within NASA was told in the film “Hidden Figures” and very evidently she broke down more barriers than just that of getting people up into space.

Sometimes, when we think of God, we picture Him somewhere “up above” and we imagine that reaching Him will require quite some extraordinary feat – that maybe you just have to find some lucky trajectory if you are realistically going to be able to reach Him.

Well, there’s a really comforting Bible verse that perhaps surprises us on this front. Speaking of God and His word, it says:

“Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, ‘Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?’… No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.”

What a relief and daily comfort it is realising that knowing God and His son, the Lord Jesus Christ, doesn’t require anyone to be a rocket scientist or even anything remotely close.

Pastor Hedley