New Horizons

Church News | Monday, 31 August 2015 |

By The Vicar's Dad.

Do we really need to know?

Do we really need to know?

I have always enjoyed programs like Journey into Space on the radio in the 1950s with Jet Morgan, Mitch, Lemmy and Doc and more recently with Star Trek and the Star War films. My eyes were glued to the television when Neil Armstrong made his landing on the moon and “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” has deservedly found its way into the Oxford dictionary of quotations.

The New Horizons spacecraft recently shot past Pluto in just three minutes, but the pictures it has already sent back appear to have revolutionised understanding of this small planet. As it speeds on into outer space on its nine and a half year, 3 billion mile journey I can’t help but wonder, as I have done so many times, at what cost when so many people in the world are hungry, thirsty and have no adequate medical care.

I accept, however, that I may have missed an important point. As Stephen Hawking said when he congratulated the Pluto team: “We explore because we are human beings, and we want to know.”

Even those of us who have no great desire to know the secrets of the universe really need to know what projects like this underline. How can we fail to be amazed at the sheer scale of the universe being unveiled for us, sense again how little we understand, how much more there must be? In Psalm eight David gazed at the stars and marvelled that the God who had created them was also concerned about human beings, “You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honour.”

Whether it’s about the universe beyond Pluto, or about the One who created it all, there’s always more truth and light waiting to be discovered.

Nevertheless I still believe that the next great project of mankind should be to Feed the World.

The Vicar’s Dad.

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