In the way they calculate such things, the U.N. figures world population hit 8 billion this past Tuesday. While they admit they might be off by as much as a year or so, Vinice Mabansag, a little girl born in Manilla on Tuesday, has been dubbed little human #8 billion. The BBC has an interesting piece on babies #5, 6, and 7 billion.
When I was born there were only a little more than 2.5 billion of us, so in my life time, I have seen the world’s population more than triple and be called a ticking time bomb. Now with the world’s population expected to peak at about 10 billion in another 60 years, there is more worry among the demographers about implosion than explosion. Who is going to take care of all the old folks?
I will leave the implosions and the explosions to the experts. 8 billion of us. I have been in a football stadium with 70,000 fans. Becky and I have flown into Sao Paulo, Brazil, several times. At 24 million people, it is the fifth largest city in the world. It stretches from horizon to horizon as you make your final approach for landing. I can’t fathom 8 billion people.
But fathomed or not, welcome, Vinice. We are glad you are here. Maybe you will help us figure out what to do in sixty years when our numbers begin to decline.
It doesn’t matter, though, whether Vinice grows up to solve major problems or simply to live an ordinary life. Already we know much about her. Like the other 7,999,999,999 of us, Vinice is human. She bears the image of the God who created her who so loves her that he sent his only Son to die for her that she might live for him now and with him forever.
The poet of Psalm 147 writes of our Creator God, “He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names.” Space.com says there are 1 septillion stars in the universe. Since I can’t fathom it, I will take their word for it. God has named all septillion of them. And he already knows and loves little Vinice, Baby #8 billion.
Baby Vinice, we’ve made a bit of a mess of the place, but we are glad you are here.