If we made contact with beings from another part of the universe, what would you want to communicate about who we are?
If popular culture has its way, we would have a gecko telling how twenty minutes could save them money on their spacecraft insurance.
For the record, I don’t think there is life out there—at least not the way sci-fi movies tell us. The point of this blog is not to argue the probability of alien life forms (beyond the ones we know exist in Hollywood). Instead, I’m intrigued with the idea of what we would communicate about humanity.
I’m not the first to ponder this. On September 5, 1977, NASA launched Voyager 1. The purpose of this space probe was to, well, probe space. It was to provide information about our furthest planets—except Pluto. (Even 40+ years ago, we were giving Pluto the cold shoulder).
But what if Voyager met up with some aliens out in the great beyond cruising with their own space probe, looking to join everyone else moving into California, or hoping to find a clean rest area after a trek across the galaxy with alien kids screaming in the back seat? What if?
Enter Carl Sagan. NASA asked Sagan to come up with some way to communicate … just in case. Sagan pulled a team together and they came up with a play list for a gold record. No, not the kind of gold record they give to Lady Gaga. This was a real gold record to be given to a real alien—not just someone who looked like one. (A copper record plated with gold would last millions of years.)
The 90-minute record includes historical, geographical, and cultural information about earth. It includes greetings given in a wide variety of languages. It includes a quick sampling of music from all over the world. (I imagine it sounds like a late-night Time-Life Record commercials.)
They used a variety of ways to communicate: Images, sounds, diagrams. But they also chose a brain scan of someone thinking about all this history, culture, and geography. They were going to use a brain scan from Ann Druyan, one of the team members, to communicate the information. (I’d say it would take a highly advanced alien life form to truly understand what a woman is thinking, but I’m too classy to say that.)
But Ann sneaked one past the team. She was in love—with Carl Sagan no less!—and she decided to focus on love during the brain scan. What better way to communicate what drives humanity than to focus on love?
Here we are 41 years later, and Voyager is still out there doing its thing. And that message of love is still waiting to be discovered.
Let’s turn back to human life forms. What would you communicate to humanity?
God communicated love to us.
- He created us in love.
- After we sinned, He still loves us.
We know all this because, in His love, He revealed Himself through the written Word of God. It’s not a hidden message. The Bible does not require special learning or an advanced degree to understand. God wants us to know Him., and He has clearly communicated to us through His Word.
But it doesn’t stop there. God didn’t send a brain scan. He sent Himself. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, so that we would see what love looks like. So that we could know Him.
- “No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known” (John 1:18).
- Jesus said, ““As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love” (John 15:9).
- “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).
- Nothing is “able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:39)
Voyager’s message is still out there, and Ann Druyan hopes someone someday will find her message of love.
God’s message of love has already been delivered.
You’re not Voyager, but you can pass this message on. Share this post about God’s love with others.