By the time this edition of Littleport Life is printed we will be well into 2015, but I would just ask that you cast your mind back to November last year when the space probe Philae landed on the comet, out in deepest space. The landing was the end of the 10 year Rosetta Mission and without doubt, it is a stunning technical achievement. The aim is to understand the comet and from that, to hopefully gain a greater insight into the origins of life, the universe and everything. It seems that much exploration into space and on the ground is concerned with finding out where we come from: for example, the Hadron Collider in Geneva seeking the Higgs-Boson Particle.
What I find fascinating about all of this is that the science, stunning and amazing as it is, is possible because the scientists can predict what the physical forces will be that they are likely to encounter. And that’s because those forces are essentially identical to what goes on in their own back yard, or indeed, in your back yard.
The more we explore, the more we find similarity not difference, predictability not chaos. No, you can’t fire up the hatchback and drive out to a comet, but Philae needed an engine too and the Teflon on your frying pan was first used on the Apollo missions. What works in space works here on the ground as well.
Discovering the origin of life, the universe and everything is an understandable quest for the human mind, but the suggestion that there is an origin implies a start date and if there was a start date, then why? It’s no coincidence that the Higgs-Boson has been nicknamed the God Particle. At Christmas we celebrate the story of Jesus’ birth, God’s Son; it’s the celebration of when, at Bethlehem, God said “here I am! Right here with you”.
Perhaps as we explore ever deeper into space we will find that actually, similarity and predictability continue. And however exciting and amazing that will be, rather than look for God at the edges of the universe, we could simply start right where we are.
If you would like to do that, that’s brilliant. At St George’s after Easter we will be holding a series of discussions called Christianity Explored and as many as would like to come are warmly invited. If you want to know more, please ask either directly or via the website or Facebook link. Don’t be put off by the word discussion – they will be informal and no question about life, the universe and everything will be off limits. Exact dates will be advertised in due course and there are of course the informal services of Messy Church and Cafe Church where there’s time to chat.
With every blessing.
Rev’d Howard Robson.