Sometimes I think that we have trouble truly understanding the gospel because we are too wrapped up in the whole story of the gospel. Don't get me wrong, I am eternally grateful for the fact that I am inextricably wrapped up in God's great story of redemption. Rather, my problem is that sometimes I'm so mixed up between the true gospel and things that I've just brought along with me as baggage from my tradition, the culture around me, or just my own messed up head, that I just can't see what the gospel is really like in all its glorious richness.
Which brings me to God's creation. Scientists estimate that there are somewhere in the neighbourhood of 10 to the power of 24 stars in the universe. They also estimate that many more of those stars have planets than they thought even a few years ago. If God created other sentient beings on even one of those planets, what would they be like?
What would the gospel be for them? Would they have fallen to some temptation, like we did, through their own equivalent of Adam and Eve? What would have been their fierce temptation? Would it have been pride? Greed? Lust? What would those sins even look like for creatures almost wholly different from us?
And that brings me to a peculiar creature that's been dwelling in my mind for a while now (not literally, mind you). A sea creature called the siphonophore ... it's a kind of colonial sea creature (like coral, but also like jellyfish — google them!) where many independent "zooids" — like a whole collection of single-celled organisms work together for a common goal (survival).
Now I might be crazy here (be gentle if you think I am). But imagine that God creates creatures like this and gives them sentience ... makes them "in His image". What would their "original sin" be (if they had one)? What would the incarnation look like? Could there be one, cosmic, universal "time" when God, in Jesus Christ, died for all — I mean all the sentient beings in all worlds? Did God, in Jesus Christ, suffer and die on a cross here, and by some other means on some other planet?