Spirit Sightings

March 8, 2015: The Wonders of God

From Sandra Rooney

“The heavens are telling the glory of God” and scientists are trying to make sense of it all. A local newspaper recently carried two interesting stories. The first proclaimed, “UA scientists have eyes on Europa.” A striking picture of the surface of Europa, compiled from images taken by the Galileo space craft, was accompanied by an artist’s concept of a plum of water vapor spewing from the Javian moon of Europa, some 500 million miles from the sun. Scientists at the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory are proposing to send cameras with a NASA mission to help discover whether life might have developed in the liquid ocean beneath Europa’s frozen crust. While the accepted theory has been that the ocean was buried under impenetrable ice, most scientists now agree that there are fractures where that water meets the atmosphere. In 2013, the Hubble Space Telescope saw evidence of water geysers erupting at Europa’s south pole.

Recently, many newspapers also carried AP photos of Antarctica, with a headline, “A window into mankind’s future.” Thousands of scientists from different fields come to Antarctica for research, where it is said that “Earth’s past, present and future come together.” “It’s a window out to the universe and in time,” according to Kelly Falkner, polar program chief for the U.S. national Science Foundation. Here they are finding clues to answering such questions as: “Where did we come from? Are we alone in the universe? What is the fate of our warming planet?” They are searching for alien-like creatures, signs of pollution trapped in the ancient ice, evidence of the Big Bang, and biological discoveries that might lead to new medical treatments. And, if scientists are right, and the West Antarctic ice sheet has started melting irreversibly, what happens there will determine if cities such as Miami, New York, New Orleans, Mumbai, London and Osaka, along with many island nations, will have to contend with regular flooding from rising seas.

Explore… Psalm 19

  • How do you respond to these words of the psalmist?
  • In what way does the psalmist speak for you?
  • What sights or experiences do you find awe-inspiring?
  • What language would you use to describe them?
  • What do you make of the stories above?

Prayer links…

Creator God, we marvel at the night sky and at pictures taken in space. We are awed by the intricacies and complexities of all living creatures. We are amazed by each new scientific or medical discovery. We are surrounded by the mysteries of creation and pray that we may live responsibly and use all new-found knowledge in a way that honors creation. Amen.

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