This week my family and I went to visit the National Space Centre in Leicester. It was very busy but also extremely fascinating. One of the most interesting areas was the Planetarium, where it was explained that all people are made from the same chemical components as the very universe. Over twenty minutes, we were told the story of the birth and development of the universe. One of my boys said ‘but Dad, do you believe in that story or in the Bible?’
Isn’t it sad that – due in part to the Enlightenment, to radical atheism, and even to fundamentalist Christianity – we feel the need to make this false distinction? The beautiful, poetic reality of the Bible, and the amazing work of science as it seeks to explain the hitherto unexplainable, are two parts of the same story. If we read the opening chapters of Genesis with the eyes of Science, we will still find the unity and wonder of Creation.
The Will of God brought our universe into existence. The Love of God the Father holds it in being, and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit helps our world be all that it can be. God invites us to use our minds and our intellects, as well as the words we find in the Bible, to know something of His Wonders.
An American, who went in to space, prayed this part of Psalm 8:
What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honour. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.
May we always reverence Science, Theology, Poetry and all that teaches us something about God. May we have humility to understand that whichever way we think, the most important thing to remember is that you and I – and all people of the human family – are Children of God.
With my prayers & thoughts.
Revd. Stephen Monk