A race is going on among astrophysicist. Who can find the farthest galaxy and therefore see the light of early creation – just after the Big Bang; star light that came forth from newborn galaxies. These astrophysicist seek to capture star light that has taken millions of years to reach telescopes here on earth; the farther away the galaxy the younger the light subsequent to the beginning of the cosmos; a beginning that was an explosive array of countless billions of stars in the universe. Seeking to fathom endless space these scientist all over the earth are updating their telescopes with new high-tech cameras.
Our U.S. Hubble Space Telescope has a new camera called Wide Field Camera 3 which immediately discovered some 300 galaxies deep in space never detected before. Up to this time light that was 780 million years old was the best they could see. Now this new camera is identifying galaxies so far away that light seen is only 500-450 million years from the Big Bang. With great anticipation astrophysicist look forward to 2018 when NASA will launch the James Web Space Telescope. This out-space telescope promises the ability to see light from galaxies shortly after the Big Bang.
I use the word “boggling the mind” in the title of this article – relating human efforts to see light from galaxies which are less than a billion years after the Big Bang – the colossal explosion that put all the heavenly-cosmic bodies (stars, planets by the billions) into motion.
As I write this the hymn “How Great Thou Art” keeps coming to my mind. I also reflect that many of my brothers and sisters in Faith who identify themselves as Creationist (that Creation came about literally as described in the book of Genesis), reject the Big Bang concept that is so firmly endorsed by astrophysicists today.
Although duly impressed with efforts and advanced space searchers, it seems apparent that our human discoveries, though impressive and heroic, remain sketchy and limited; leaving us all in a mental paralysis of absolute awe of what God has done – in whatever manner he has done it.
The more we examine this thing called “Creation” the more the logic of our mind calls out “What an all-powerful (omnipotent) and all-knowing (omniscient) CREATOR!”
“By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth…Let the earth fear the Lord; let all the people of the world revere him. For he spoke and it all came to be; he commanded and it all stood firm.” [Psalms 33:6, 8, 9]
May we all be open to the wonder and awe of God; that his ways are far above our ways and even our comprehension.
The Rev. John Burkhart Ph.D, is a retired Episcopal priest and professor of psychology
firstname.lastname@example.org blog at inspirationsandideas