I was a strange teenager.
Well, all teenagers are unique strange creatures, some more than others.
My strangeness came out in studying science and theology, not together, but I studied both separately.
Some of my science journals had strong connections to secular humanism and atheism. Some of my favorite people were indifferent or openly hostile to any expression of divinity or faith.
My Dad always thought that was funny, as I studied the Bible and theology with my atheist literature stacked up nearby.
The world is worthy of attention and care. That is what they both came down to, science and theology.
For theology, creation reveals God. And for Christians, the humanity of Jesus reveals both the fullness of God and the fullness of humanity all at once.
For Science, this world and the Universe is the subject of sustained and disciplined curiosity and wonder, and I would say devotion as well.
As God says, “it is very good”.
I have never really tried to make science and faith agree. I know many spend a great deal of time and energy trying to do that or trying to make them disprove each other.
I just don’t know.
What I do know is that they share an intense attention and devotion to the world and to life.
And I share that devotion and I admire that shared vigilance and wonder at the goodness of all that is.
Sometimes they break into our lives, a transfiguring moment.
Today we finish the season after the Epiphany, that began with the Wise Men following a star and it ends with Jesus blazing in light in the company of Elijah and Moses. Peter, James, and John are appropriately overwhelmed and blither nonsense in their terror. Words simply fail.
It’s like Jesus becomes the wick of the candle that burns with God’s glory.
Creation, the creature, the humanity of Jesus wicks up the burning light of God and the world beholds.
The world is like that moment, God shines forth through the stuff of life.
Like our stained glass here at Grace, a dull piece of rough glass suddenly becomes something transcendent when the sun shines through, crackling and popping with silent lightning.
And we bask in that light that shines upon us.
Wonder. Awe. Words fail.
When we are at our best we are creatures of wonder and awe. Both science and faith call us back to that essential vocation of being human.
When we lose that devotion and attentiveness to the wonder that is always seeping and dripping through life, we become blind and bitter. The human community becomes exhausted with ideology, pitching science against faith, everything against everything.
Ideological exhaustion and the transfiguration.
Sickness and cure.
The return of wonder. Light shining through the glass once more.
Faith comes to us through people, through relationships.
God’s word is spoken by human tongues.
God born from the flesh of Mary, the mother of God.
God blazes through the life of the singular humanity of Jesus.
A resurrection that is physical.
Sacraments that carry the real presence of Jesus, more than symbol and metaphor, something more than what was before.
Creation, the world, the universe, the firmament, the material stuff of all that is, it is worthy of our attention, devotion and care.
God shines through it. It is very good.
We are strange creatures of distracted attentions.
But when we attend to that great love that lifts up all that is, then…then…well words just fail.
I’d better stop there before I start to blither.