For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of those who by their wickedness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made. So they are without excuse; for though they knew God, they did not honour him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools; and they exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling a mortal human being or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles.
There is a danger in wanting to know too much. At the end of the film Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (warning – spoiler alert!!) the character Irina asks for all knowledge. When she is receiving it, she realises that it is too much to bear and asks for it to stop. Her request is denied and her head literally explodes through too much information.
In an age of enlightenment, science and discovery, we are in danger of presuming to know too much and the window through which we see God becoming smaller and smaller. But the acquisition of knowledge should make our “God shaped” window bigger as we become more and more amazed at how the world works. We can never know everything, but we can be inspired by all we see and attribute all to God, not just the bits we can’t explain. If we worship knowledge, or the objects of our discovery, we deny God and stir his wrath. If we accept that knowledge of Creation and Creation itself comes from God, we worship God and wonder at His works.
Lord of Creation, to you be all praise. We can never fully understand all that you have made, but we can stand in awe of all that we can see, hear, smell, taste and touch. You have given us our senses to feel and our brains to learn more of you. May we use our knowledge to grow in our wonder of you as we explore the world around us. Amen
The Rev’d Ruth Watson, Minister of Patricroft and Worsley Road URC