Our daughter called the other day. She’s the pastor of the UCC church in Burlington, MA. We were discussing preaching themes for the Advent/Christmas season. She was sharing conceptual ideas and I was chiming in with some concrete illustrations and stories that went with the themes she was sharing. After a couple of my comments and ideas, she said, rather exasperated, “Mom, that’s science again. You’re always getting into science.” Well, she might have intended her comment as a criticism but I took it as a compliment.
Science and religion work well together. In fact, they are better together. Religion can offer an ethical and values based grounding for science. And science again and again illuminates spiritual insights. Good science and good religion can form a very strong partnership. I think of science and religion not as antagonists but as allies.
When it comes to peace, yes, we need practical solutions, and that’s where hard science and social science have contributions to make. Facts. Figures. Strategies. Trade offs. Background and history. But religion fosters the desire for peace and the will to work for peace. Religion encourages the commitment to seek solutions and can change hearts. So, in thinking about Wonder-Full peace, religion and science make a great team for the pursuit of peace at many levels and in many situations. This Advent season, we can also think about making peace between science and religion and putting to rest the false notions around the incompatibility of the two.
Think of a time when science just left you in awe. How wonderful to celebrate the intellect put to use. Some would call that God at work.
Prayer: It is amazing all the things that we can learn from science about the world, about nature, about space, about our bodies, about life. May we be so awed by science that we praise the God of creation. And may we love this world as God does and so go to any lengths to create peace. Amen.