FRIENDS IN SPACE!

February 19, 2016

 

This is THOUGHT FOR THE DAY , broadcast on 'Good Morning Scotland', [BBC Radio Scotland, on 19 January 2016

 

When I was a small boy I enjoyed reading a book called ‘Through Space and Time’ by Sir James Jeans, the Astronomer  Royal .  I discovered  that a rocket which could travel faster than four and a half  miles per second [or something like that]  could get clear of the earth’s gravity and zoom  out into space. 

 

        That  looked like fantasy.  I had to make do with ‘The Eagle’ comic, which featured the adventures  of  ‘Dan Dare, Space Pilot of the Future’, who crisscrossed  the universe   in a battle against the evil empire of the green-headed ‘Mekon

 

’.

 

        Fantasy became reality in 1961, at the height of the Cold War, when the cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was sent into  orbit by the USSR  , a state whose official creed was atheism. A Soviet cartoon showing a smiling Gagarin  peering  into infinity and announcing  ‘There is no God.’

 

            But   the United States was determined ‘to boldly go ’ even further. By  1968  their spacecraft, Apollo 8,  was flying round  the moon, as the crew  Lovell, Anders and Borman , read from the Bible:  ‘ In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth... And God looked at the world and saw that it was good .’

 

          Speaking personally, I don’t think that  new discoveries about the universe could ever decisively prove - or disprove - the existence of a Creator. While  some  of us will feel that ‘the Heavens declare the glory of God’, others may conclude the opposite.  But  many of us will perhaps agree with Major Tim Peake, who is out there right now,  working with Russian and American colleagues.  He supports a suggestion that the International  Space Station should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize because ‘it has brought many nations together through difficult times’. What began in Cold War rivalry has developed into  the international cooperation we badly need down here on Mother Earth.

 

          Jesus said ’Blessed are the peacemakers.’ It looks as if space travel could be  proving him right.

 

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