Letter from the Vicarage - June 2017
BLESSINGS FROM THE VICARAGE
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I have had a passion for science and nature all my life. I avidly watch as many documentaries and read as many books on cosmology, biology, chemistry, physics (and sometimes even mathematics) as I can. This may come as a surprise to many who firstly (having met me) might have questioned that I am even intelligent enough to understand any of this stuff (!); and secondly might go along with the more secularised view that science just does not go with any belief in God. Indeed many may feel that these ‘topics’ are diametrically opposed and see them as utterly separate.
Take the Big Bang theory for example. Scientists, and particularly physicists, have postulated the physical and mechanical origins of our being with great accuracy. The age of the universe has been calculated from the Big Bang by Plank in 2013 as 13.82 billion years. So whilst scientists have helped us know how life started and how long the universe has existed, they still cannot say why it was created in the first place and what the actual purpose of creation is.
In faith terms, the explanation of the Big Bang Theory loosely based on the Creation accounts in the Book of Genesis might go like this: The origin of life could be understood as the bursting of God’s creative heart of love for us (when you are in love your heart feels fit to burst…) wherein all matter was liberated from that single source to journey, collide, join and form stage by stage in many and diverse creative ways. After much evolution over time into stars and planets, earth and creatures, etc., finally came, through creative development, a species able to explore and find and know that Original Divine Love and the depth of it, which is infinite and eternal. When humans were created in God’s image, it was to have the ability to learn and discern and discover that in short, our purpose is simply to have our being in God’s Love and so live in love with every created thing.
By the joining of scientific facts and theories with thoughts on theology and experiences of faith we discover what a precious gift life is. We also discover how fragile life is...
When we then look upon those in authority in the world trying to make their own ‘big bang’ – those of power, control and corruption, amassing weapons of mass destruction which are about killing our precious and fragile world – we can clearly see that this is not about the ‘bigger’ picture but about selfish egos playing games with lives and life itself. These so called leaders are working on separating and segregating – the polar opposite of Love which is about - ‘re–ligio’ (remember from my letter a few months ago? – meaning to re-bind together). Think of Donald Trump’s wanting to build a wall between America and Mexico; think of the dividing wall in the Holy Land of Jerusalem…. None of these leader’s intentions or aspirations is in line with God’s creative living plan, and although when you think about it in God’s scheme of things, these human efforts to be gods are puny and primitive – nevertheless, the devastation could be vast…remember we have seen it already in Hiroshima and Nagasaki…
This is where I believe working on a ‘both/and’ attitude (rather than an ‘either/or’ separating approach) would radically transform people’s fears into confidence about life and thus be most beneficial for all, as well as enhance the value and understanding of our purpose of being. But it takes supreme effort not to be sucked into the charismatic, manipulative persuasions of politicians and other leaders as they tap into and feed off our fears of death and insecurity.
For me, faith makes me grateful for the beauty of Love in Life and helps me understand that this life is not all – God has shown that in Jesus Christ’s resurrection which we celebrate at Easter. Learning science alongside faith also helps me to be full of awe and wonder at the amazing variety, resilience and sheer extent of this life which God created and of which I and all are a strategic part. The disciplines of scientific learning, together with a continuous prayerful, connection with the Origin of Life which I call God, and utilising as many of the gifts of God’s energy (which I call the Holy Spirit) as I can muster – give me encouragement and hope for the future. Learning a both/and attitude takes great and sustained effort – but when love is joined with learning it makes it much easier.
I think Life is worth it – do you?
With encouragement, love and blessings