Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Dear Christ Church Family,

Is there a Divine Signature upon Creation? The Psalmists clearly think so. The message of Scripture, from the Genesis Creation Story to its retelling in the Gospel According to John, also conveys this message. How about a retelling in the language of Physics? Take a look.


Tuesday, June 23, 2020                        RCL Daily Office Readings, Year 2

AM Psalm 97, 99, [100]
PM Psalm 94, [95]
Num. 16:20-35
Rom. 4:1-12
Matt. 19:23-30

Psalms 95 and 100: The Divine Signature. Our Psalms continue today to sing of the glory of God as Creator, and how his creation bears the signs of his “handiwork,” God’s Signature.

“For the Lord is a great God,
   and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth;
   the heights of the mountains are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it,
   and the dry land, which his hands have formed.” (Ps 95: 3-5)

“Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he that made us, and we are his
    we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” (Ps 100: 3)

In Richard Rohr’s message today, he quotes from author Mike McHargue, who has reframed the Creation Story of Genesis in the language of Physics. It’s a brilliant piece of work. Through it he reflects on how Resurrection is the Divine Signature upon creation. Here is Rohr’s introduction:

It seems that for many people accepting the truth of science means rejecting the truth of God. Of course, it’s not an either/or proposition, but the two have been set in opposition for so long we could expect little else. There have been many religious scientists throughout the ages, but their work has often only been appreciated in hindsight. Thankfully, Pope Francis is working to correct that. A growing number of people like author and podcaster Mike McHargue are beginning to articulate how science and faith can be reconciled in our modern age. Here he explains in layperson’s terms how the evolutionary phenomenon we call the “Big Bang” is a reflection of what I would call the Paschal Mystery.

Mike McHargue now retells the Genesis Story of Creation:
In the beginning, there was a rapid expansion of a Singularity. Around 380,000 years later, there was light. There was also hydrogen and helium and four stable, fundamental forces of physics. Atoms and those forces worked together to birth the first stars from massive clouds of gas, and those stars lived for hundreds of millions of years before they died in explosions that spread their matter across the sky in clouds of gas and dust—now with heavier elements than what existed before.

The forces of physics worked together once again to craft new stars now tightly packed into the first galaxies.

As the cycle repeated, heavier elements formed planets orbiting those stars, emerging from disks of gas and dust like dust bunnies under your bed. In our universe, planets can exist only because a few generations of stars died and were reborn. The rebirth of stellar matter into planets is how our Earth came to be.

This planet, our home, is covered with a film of life unlike any we’ve yet seen anywhere else in the universe. As far as we know today, it is unique. A blue marble floating in the dark.

Earth’s life is fed by a process in which carbon from the air and minerals in the soil are attached together by the energy of photons via photosynthesis in plants. In this process, everything on this planet lives by the constant sacrifice of the nearest star. Every blade of grass, every tree, every bush, every microscopic algae on this planet is a resurrected form of the Sun’s energy…

One day, I will die, and in time my atoms will go back to giving life to something else. Much farther along the arrow of time, our own Sun will explode and spread its essence across the sky. Our Sun’s dust will meet with other stars’ remnants and form new stars and planets of their own. The universe itself exists in an eternal pattern of life, death, and resurrection.

It seems poetically appropriate that the Source of all would have left this divine signature on the fabric of reality. In Jesus, I hope for more than just a God with a face or a uniquely gifted moral teacher. I hope for a resurrection that will one day reach every corner of our universe.

My reflection:
Resurrection is in the very DNA of our Universe. Nothing would exist without it. We should not be surprised then that God would speak the ultimate Divine message to us through resurrection. Jesus’ Resurrection is the Divine Signature upon our world.