Collective Worship: In the beginning (Creation, Science & the beginning of the school year)

Creation: Where it all comes from. John 1.1–18.

See/Download Prezi from https://prezi.com/mvuj1cxlit9j/in-the-beginning-new-school-year/

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Introduction

It’s impossible to gaze up at the sky and not wonder ‘where did all this come from?’ You can’t observe a starlit sky or a sunset without some sense of awe and wonder. Even knowing that the sky at night is red because of pollutants in the atmosphere does not make it any less impressive. As science feels its way forward to the first moments of the big bang, it still hasn’t captured the essence of it all, and there remains a sense that something is behind it all. However, we do know what that something is, not so much a thing as a beyond thing: God.

Story

In the beginning there was nothing: nada, zip, zilch … not even chaos, which would at least have some form, even if it was … well … chaotic.

But beyond the nothingness, there was a something, even if we didn’t have the words to call it anything. This something was a word, well, not just a word, but THE word. The word of God spoken before all space and time, not shouted but whispered, a still small voice amid … nothingness.

That word, that whisper spoken by God, was God: the same as God, which cannot be divided, or diluted, or mucked around with, it didn’t matter how loud he had to speak it, because for God, just a whisper was enough, more than enough, and then springing out from the word, things happened and all creation was let loose …

That word had a name, the name we now know as Jesus … the Man, the Son of Man, the Christ, the Messiah and when that word was said by God, things happened. That word, just a word, was life itself, more than just inert inorganic stuff, but life … life itself that lit up people’s lives, a light that could shine into the darkest, scariest corners of existence and make it good .

There is no dark corner that this light cannot touch, nowhere that can’t hear – somehow – the whisper of the word of God. It’s in everything, through everything, with everything. It’s the thing that glues the quarks together and makes the sun shine, the reason to get up in the morning and the reason to go to bed at night: the fingerprints of God are in all of creation, and the challenge is to spot it.

Activity

Go to random word generator on Internet (http://creativitygames.net/random-word-generator/randomwords/8). Note that although some sense might randomly come out, it doesn’t make complete sense. We could continue to mess around with these words : swapping pairs of words or paragraphs of jumbled, meaningless babble but it’ll never be totally right. Try and see.
Imagine this pile of words, and a mighty wind blows through them, like a tornado, and whips up all these words and when they hit the ground again, the fall into the complete works of Shakespeare: imagine how difficult and unlikely this might be … and that’s how likely that all of this world came together by accident, at random, that chemicals and amino acids collided together and made all this in its marvellous, wonderful diversity, and made all you in your beautiful, random wonderfulness.

The truth is, I don’t have enough faith to believe that all of this happened by accident: I don’t have enough faith to believe that you are a random, freak accident and so I have to conclude that something is behind it all, and that takes a lot less faith than believing in the random whirwind.

Application: Faith isn’t Asking the Impossible

We often think of faith and science as opposites, and certainly there are some who would like you to believe it’s a black and white, one or the other kind of decision, and yet as with most things, faith and science overlap, merge, combine … who do you think invented the lasers and the volcanos and the particle physics in the first place? The whole world contains the fingerprints of God, and the more science shows us, the more it shows us the handiwork of God. Hundreds of years ago a wise man by the name of Thomas Aquinas thought about God, and how if you thought of one thing happening, and then thought of the thing that caused it to happen, and then the thing that caused that to happen: like dominos toppling, if you go back and back and back until you run out of causes on this earth, and then go back another one, you are at the thing we call God: the ‘first mover’, the one who pushed the domino in the first place. Steven Hawking and many other scientists have touched on this issue, have explored the wonders of the first few nanoseconds of the creation (or the big bang you might want to call it) and still haven’t got close to the one who pushed the first domino. What was before? The Word. Let us try and hear that word and spot the subtle, oh so subtle fingerprints of God on this marvellous universe.

Let us pray…