Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people upon it and spirit to those who walk in it… (Isaiah 42:5, NRSV)
I appreciate so much when people share parts of their lives and family history with me. For instance, a church member recently shared a tiny booklet she found in a Bible belonging to her paternal grandmother. Her grandmother was born in 1872 and this church member was named for her and shares the same birthdate. The pamphlet is entitled “How Science Helps Our Faith” by Shailer Mathews. Dr. Mathews served as Dean of the Divinity School at University of Chicago and Director of Religious Work at Chautauqua Institution. When it was published in 1922, you could buy this pamphlet for $.03 from The American Institute of Sacred Literature. But if you bought 100, the cost went down to $.02.
The pamphlet is fifteen pages in length and discusses the need for faithful people to embrace science. On page five it says:
“As our knowledge of the universe extends, so can our faith extend. Unless we can believe in a God coextensive with reality, there will be some place where we must believe God does not exist or work. Such a belief would destroy Christianity.”
It seems to me that there has been a lot of talk lately about science and whether to trust it. One of the many things that I appreciate about our great church is that we believe our faith and our intellect work in concert, not in opposition. We believe that God works through science and that science helps us understand the mystery of God.
I don’t know about you, but there are enough challenges in my life without creating unnecessary ones. I give God thanks for the work of science in helping us fight this pandemic and for helping us understand the complexity and wonder of the world around us.
Those working to distribute vaccines for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines
Loving God, thank you for the gift of science and how it informs my faith. Amen.