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Giglio contemplates vastness of God in look at the universe

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–They came back, and they brought 7,000 more with them. Organizers reported a capacity crowd of 18,000 college students for Passion 06 in Nashville, Tenn., a substantial increase over last year’s attendance of 11,000 for the four-day worship event.

“We told you at the end of Passion 05 to bring your friends, and apparently you took us up on that challenge because we cannot fit one more person in this building,” Louie Giglio, founder and director of the Passion conference, said at the gathering’s opening session Jan. 2 at the Gaylord Entertainment Center.

“Passion is a tiny speck in what God is doing among college students in this nation and the world,” Giglio said. “But we have been praying for months that God would change you and that generations from now, people would be talking about what God has done in this town, in these days, in your life.”

The conference included messages from John Piper, Beth Moore and Giglio — three perennial Passion favorites.

During the Jan. 4 evening session, Giglio took students on a journey into the outer reaches of space to gain a better view of God’s immense size through His creation of the universe.

“Tonight I want to see how big God is, and the main way to do that is by looking up. The Scriptures say it this way, ‘The heavens are telling the glory of God and their expanse declares the work of his hands.’ In other words, all you have to do to get an idea of how big God is, is walk outside on a dark night, look up at the starry host and wonder, ‘What in the world is this God like that created this universe?’” Giglio said.

Alongside images of Earth and its sun, the Milky Way and other images from deep space taken from the Hubble Telescope and NASA’s Voyager spacecraft, Giglio offered short scientific points comparing distance and size in order to drive home the message regarding the Earth’s size, and ultimately humanity’s size, as they relate to the entire universe.

Using the images to illustrate two points, Giglio said, “The heavens are telling us two things every single day when we just look up into the sky. One thing is that God is huge. He is way bigger than we think He is. This God we are dealing with is enormous in size. The second thing they tell us is that we are really, really, really small. You and I are tiny in the cosmos. Sin is so powerful and it puffs us up and we start thinking that we are so mighty in this scheme of things. But the heavens remind us that we are really small.”

Giglio even speculated a connection between Intelligent Design and the Big Bang theory.

“I don’t know where you are on this whole creation debate. Scientists may say a big bang created the universe. I think, when God created the universe, it was pretty loud. I think we have a heads up on this. Scripture opens with, ‘In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.’ I believe that,” Giglio said. “I don’t know how He did it; I don’t know exactly what it takes to say a word and create a universe. God just said, ‘I think I’m going to make a universe. I can do that. Check this out: Universe!’ I don’t know how to explain it and they don’t know how to explain it, but I think when we all meet, we should all be kind, generous and graceful, and say, ‘Wow, it’s amazing, spectacular, bigger than we ever dreamed of.’”

The unique purpose of Passion is to gather college students from campuses and churches across the nation, uniting them across ministry and denominational lines to seek the face of God together in worship and prayer. Affirming and valuing the work of local churches and campus ministries, Passion seeks to foster unity and connectivity among them, encouraging them to draw strength and encouragement from each other, resulting in a louder anthem of God’s renown.

Passion 07 is scheduled for Jan. 1-4 in Atlanta, and registration opens March 1.
For more information, visit www.268generation.com. Based on reports by Rick Hoganson of Hoganson Media in Nashville, Tenn.

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