Man’s Search For God: The Pyramids Of The Sun And The Moon

by Faith & Life

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to spend 10 days in and around Mexico City. The first half of our trip included visits to various holy sites and churches, ample time at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and a couple opportunities to be immersed in the culture and history of Mexico.

Of the many fascinating remnants in the history of Mexico that we were able to explore were the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon. We arrived on the site with the weather sunny and 75, and even from a distance we marveled at the immensity of these structures. As we were deboarding our bus, conversation began amongst some in the group as to what these ancient pyramids have to do with God. As we all know, the construction of great pyramids, temples and towers is not unique to any one ancient civilization. We thus began to wonder what this commonality may tell us about God and about our humanity. 

Ever since man chose to separate himself from God, this attempt to reach the heights has been a near constant pursuit with varying degrees of purity in intention. In Genesis 11, it says of the people who represent the entire world: “They said to one another, ‘Come, let us mold bricks and harden them with fire…’ Then they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the sky, and so make a name for ourselves.’” 

In the Jewish and Christian tradition, this group is one of the archetypal misfires in man’s search for God. In a severely misguided attempt at seeking Him for whom their hearts long, they sought to make gods out of themselves. Naturally, they were disappointed because their aim was far too low. In one way or another, this trend of building our way to heaven has remained present throughout human history and across cultures and continents.

All this seems to indicate that something within all of us desires to reach the heavens. Mankind has an innate association of God and the heights. In the case of the Tower of Babel, the heights were desired in order to become gods. In other cases, it was to satisfy the gods, to make sacrifices to them, to beg something of them, etc. All of these, however misguided they may be, and some very tragically so, have one pursuit in common: the desire for communion with the one true God. Unfortunately, they were missing the orientation of this God-hunger to its proper end.

That said, even in the midst of the darkness, these peoples were still able to intuit universal truths regarding the nature of God and man. We are indeed made to interact with God and for a relationship with Him. He does in fact desire to dwell with us in His created world and speak to us through it. To sacrifice one’s life has a profound significance. There is something out there greater than me. 

But (and this is a fat but) the something greater than our humanity is not a something at all, but a Someone, and it is not a someone created, but He who existed before creation. Centuries ago, in Saint Augustine’s search for God, he asked about God to “the seas and the deeps and the crawling things that lived and they said to [him]: ‘We are not your God. Seek higher than we.’” Had these ancient civilizations been listening, even without the presence of divine revelation, they would have heard from the sun or the moon or whatever they asked something of a similar note. Indeed, all creation is meant to direct our gaze toward the heights and the invisible homeland which awaits us there.

We know this because God has definitively wed the things of heaven to those of earth by coming down to meet us. He draws near to us at every time and in every place, and He has done this most profoundly, most explicitly, most shockingly, and most lovingly by becoming Man. He is neither the sun nor the moon. He is fully God and fully Man. He is Emmanuel, God with us. 

This article was originally published HERE.

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