Lent 21 – The Stillness at the Heart of the Universe

Posted: March 4, 2016 by leighannegreenwood in Lent

Today’s reflection comes from Dan.

On 11th February this year – and for the first time in history – human beings successfully detected gravity waves. This enabled us to “observe” 2 black holes combining over a billion light years away and over a billion years ago. Each of these black holes were a few tens of times the mass of our sun, which in turn is about 333,000 times the mass of the tiny planet that we call home. Our tiny world has a diameter of just over 1 billionth of a light year!

I am no expert on ancient Hebrew cosmology, but I do know they knew a lot less about the Universe then than we do today. As far as they were concerned, “heaven” – which was where God lived – was “up”. Revelations of heaven in Biblical times tended to involve things like golden thrones and jewels and dazzling unearthly light – basically all the kinds of things that would tend to instill in someone a natural sense of reverence and awe.

A few months ago, Lidia prayed for me for some reason – I don’t even remember now what it was about – and I had an experience of God unlike anything I’d felt before. I described it to someone afterwards as being like “the stillness at the heart of the Universe”. As I write this, it still overwhelms me a little to think about it. The Universe is far from still of course – planets and stars and galaxies are constantly whizzing around at astronomical speeds (that really is the only adjective here that’s appropriate!), and yet the distances involved are so huge that from our tiny perspective they’re not moving at all, and there is only this incredible and overwhelming sense of peace and of the enormity of time and space. In the middle of all of this – and throughout all of it – there is God!


40thoughts: meet a neighbour

40acts: what are you going to do about global warming?

Leeds Prayer Diary: Friday’s Child



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