“The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaim God’s handiwork.” - Psalm 19:1
On Sunday, as we contemplated the Magi following the Star of Bethlehem, I talked about the James Webb telescope images. I want to share with you a link to a Zoom Room event hosted by Columbia Theological Seminary on August 3, 2022 called: James Webb Telescope Images—What Are We Seeing? They invited four professors to talk about these images: an astronomer, a theologian, an Old Testament scholar, and an ethicist. It was fabulous and I highly recommend you check it out. It is available to everyone. Here is the link: https://ctsnet.zoom.us/rec/play/beZuF_ZRofLggCvlUt5wqBPVIc_oVueqAJPjKB_KFIGKWlfeZMTwFcnxDycQ4kgBzxDZP_30wotTMUmi.s6DQncg9jtE8niln?bblinkid=262489991&bbemailid=41686551&bbejrid=-1874996299
Here is the prayer by Laura Patrus-Betzel, from the end of the event:
Holy, eternal, infinite Creator,
like the ancient wise sages who sought you and so
followed a star all the way to your manger—
bearing their little earthen gifts—so we seek.
We lift our eyes and wonder,
and are perhaps comforted and certainly humbled
to know you are the one who brings out the host of heavenly lights
numbering each calling each by name.
As we see new-to-us stars and
as mortals scramble to affix our finite names to these new discoveries seeking eternity,
may we remember each discovery is merely
uncovering more of what you have made.
May we seek the sky,
with the same energy that we plumb the depths of our own souls
also known and named by you.
We are after all made of the same dust as the stars.
We are after all star dust and divine breath.
Maybe we seek our own depth with the same awe that we find when we lift our gaze.
May we find grace and use that lens of awe and grace,
as we encounter all the rest of your creation.
Grace and peace,