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In Awe of Creation

So I’ve always been somewhat of a space nerd. As a young teenager, I read science fiction novels by Bradbury, Asimov, and Herbert; and I was thrilled when the original Star Trek series came out, you know the one, the one starring William Shatner as Captain Kirk. It all seems like ancient history now, and of course the special effects seem crude compared to the most recent Star Wars spin-offs. My wife Kathy thinks that my fascination with the sky is a natural result of growing up on the wide open plains, where the sky dominates the landscape from horizon to horizon. As Willa Cather described it in her novel “Death Comes to the Archbishop” …. but here the earth was the floor of the sky. The landscape one longed for when one was away, the thing all about one, the world one actually lived in, was the sky, the sky! As a kid growing up far from the city lights, I could look up at the nighttime sky on a clear, crisp, moonless night and clearly see the vast sweep of the Milky Way galaxy, marveling at the thought that what appeared as a sort of misty haze was actually billions of suns, some very much like our own. And so it is with those thoughts in mind that I paused for a few moments this week to take a good look at some of the images from the newly commissioned Webb Space Telescope, the most powerful telescope ever known to mankind. What those images show is that in each speck of dark sky that fills the voids between the visible stars, there are actually countless numbers of galaxies with billions of stars whose light has been gleaming across the universe since shortly after the beginning of time. A few weeks ago in his blog, Ken Crews talked about how he often pondered the “beginning of beginnings” as described in the early chapters of Genesis. As I gaze at an image created from light which has been traveling towards us for over 13 billion years, it strikes me that it’s almost like being a witness to the events of Genesis itself. I know there are many Christians who find it difficult to reconcile the literal words of Genesis in the context of our ever evolving body of scientific knowledge, but as for me, I believe that the heavens are telling us the glory of God in a language that we are just beginning to understand. As the great 16th century astronomer and mathematician Nicolas Copernicus wrote, “To know the mighty works of God, comprehend His wisdom and majesty and power, to appreciate in degree the wonderful working of His laws, surely all this must be a pleasing and acceptable mode of worship to the Most High to whom ignorance cannot be more grateful than knowledge.” Blessings, Jerry Kahrs P.S. Here’s a link to the Webb Telescope images:

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