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Faith, Science, & Astronomy

Tuesday, March 7 Lent Calendar* Invite: Tonight is a full moon. Go outside and see it. Thank God for the wonder of the night sky.

On a full moon hike to the cross at California Lutheran University.

Psalm 148 is a call to praise:

Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord from the heavens;

praise him in the heights above.

Praise him, all his angels;

praise him, all his heavenly hosts.

Praise him, sun and moon;

praise him, all you shining stars.

Praise him, you highest heavens

and you waters above the skies.

At a rustic camp site in Wisconsin, far from any electrical lights, we laid on our backs in the soft grass and looked up at the wonder of the night sky. Never had I seen so many stars. I was overwhelmed with mystery and awe.

One thousand years before me, Gerbert of Aurillac, was also in awe of the night sky. His awe and wonder - and his Christian faith - all wove together as he studied mathematics and astronomy. Gerbert would become Pope Sylvester II, called “The Scientist Pope.” In her book The Abacus and the Cross: The Story of the Pope Who Brought the Light of Science to the Dark Ages, Nancy Marie Brown writes, “During Gerbert’s lifetime, science transcended faith and faith encompassed science: the pope studied the stars and found God in numbers.”

The Catholic Church still studies the wonder of moon and stars today. In the desert of Arizona, away from light pollution, you can find the Vatican Observatory. Br. Guy Consolmagno is the current pope’s astronomer. When reflecting on looking through a telescope, Consolmagno says, “I can see in the sky things that are beautiful and familiar and have a history and smile at me and remind me that God makes good things.” If you want to learn more about the Vatican Observatory, watch their brief 5-minute introductory video; it is fascinating.

The wonder of the night sky beckons us. We have a long family tradition of doing full moon hikes. We hike up to the top of a ridge as the sun is setting. From that vantage point, we can watch the sun set and the moon rise. It is beautiful and glorious. So tonight, on March’s full moon, gaze at the full moon from your window or by stepping outside or by hiking up to a ridge. Stand for a moment in mystery and awe and praise the Creator.

*Find the daily Lent calendar here; or for the Lent calendar more specific to Ascension Lutheran Church, go here.

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Tim Delkeskamp
Tim Delkeskamp
07 de mar. de 2023

Awesome! Science vs. Religion is a false dichotomy. Science and faith!!! I also love that Gerbert changed his name to Slyvester. Two great names!

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