This week brought two news stories about our cosmos! There is the dire report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which shows the rapid progress climate change is making on our "fragile earth, island home" to be even more severe than we want to imagine. As people of faith, we need to set aside partisan politics and simply digest this news with prayer, humility and faith. I do not know if there is still time to do anything differently, but the conversations need to happen and we each must be willing to learn about the reality of our "fragile earth, our island home" --the only home we have and the home we pass on to our children, grandchildren and those who come after them. What does our faith have to say about stewardship of the earth and its resources? What is our responsibility to those who come after us?
Secondly, we have the exciting news of the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope which will allow us to see back almost the beginning of time itself. JWST will be launched farther out into space than the Hubble Telescope, and with the current technological design, will peer into the origins of the universe.
As I read, learned from and digested these stories this week, I found myself drawn to the icon shown here. It was made by my sister, Susan Hagner, for my father, who spent his whole career in the space program. The image, appropriately, comes from a mosaic high in the nave of an old church in Italy. The icon depicts God the Creator, setting the earth in place; with our sun and our moon, and all the heavens filled with stars, an earlier part of God's creation. It is a simple image; representing what many would call a naive understanding of the world and our universe. Certainly the scientific challenges and successes of today's world are more complex than this image suggests. The idea that God created everything in six days and then rested on the seventh is Biblical, and perhaps metaphorical. However, the idea that there is a unifying and dynamic force that accounts for all of life, is very real and present in all the questions we have today about our communal life on this planet and how we proceed with the way we live. What if LOVE from that creative Creator, who lovingly sets the earth in the sky, near enough to the sun for life to happen, is the real answer? What if LOVE is our guiding principle in all our politics, all our decisions about church life, family life, vocations? How might we think about our choices and decisions if LOVE is the soil, the root of all life? Perhaps you will join me in pondering these questions by gazing at this beautiful image? God lovingly sets the earth, our lives, in motion by his LOVE. How might we respond?
I am away this weekend on retreat at the Trinity Retreat Center in W. Cornwall CT where with colleagues and old seminary friends I will view the perseid meteor shower away from city lights, and study scripture related to God the Creator. I will miss seeing you all on Sunday, but will carry you in my heart, with prayers and questions on your behalf to the One who Creates and Sustains all things. Next week's Window reflection will be part 2 where I will share what I saw at "God in the Cosmos!"