Faith in a Time of Pandemic – The Grandeur of the Universe

Faith in a Time of Pandemic – The Grandeur of the Universe May 31, 2020

The Grandeur of the Universe
When I look at your heavens. (Psalm 8:3; Read Psalm 8:1-4)
The Psalmist lived in a prescientific age. The Psalmist knew nothing about astronomy or the trillion galaxies, estimated by today’s astronomers. Yet, the Psalmist knew awe and wonder.

The Psalmist experienced what Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel described as the heart of spirituality, “radical amazement.” Even on a day when we deal with pandemic and protests, wonder puts things in perspective. Every morning and evening, I follow the same practice: I go out into my backyard and look at the sky. I feel the same amazement and wonder that the Psalmist felt. I feel the same feelings captured in the hymn, “How Great Thou Art.”

Oh Lord My God, when I in Awesome Wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made; I
see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.
Then sings My soul, My Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!

This hymn is one of the most requested for funerals and memorial services because it puts our lives in perspective. If we are the center of the universe, we are lost. If we are the ultimate reality, then there is no sure foundation in times of trial. A great God, a cosmic God, the Alpha and Omega, who dwarfs us and challenges our pretentions is our only hope. God will outlast the pandemic. The moral arc of history continues and bends toward justice. God will outlast our deaths. God will outlast whatever threatens us.

We are not alone. The Energy of Love that created the universe 14 billion years ago flows in and through us and will give us life now and forever more. We are the children of Eternity, living in God’s awesome universe, and what began in Love will end in Love, and we are safe in the hands of God.
Open our eyes to wonder, beauty and majesty. Keep us awake to the immensity of the universe and the wonders of your love that we may dwell in your loving arms forever, giving us courage for the day to come and love when conflict abounds. Amen.

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