A Dusting Begins the Season

There are many things I’m not prepared to say are literally true in the Bible, but one certainly is:

“Remember, you are dust and to dust you will return. ” (Gen 3:19)

I’m pretty sure that the writer didn’t mean it quite the way I do, for he was surely not aware of the “big bang” theory of cosmology.

I think the writer refers to the Gen 2:7 which relates: “Yahweh God shaped man from the soil of the ground and blew the breath of life into his nostrils and man became a living being.”

He could not have known that an even more wondrous explanation was actually true. God brought, by his Word, a universe of particles into being, governed by a set of laws. From this “generation I stars” would form. After millions of years, they would use up their fuel, collapse upon themselves and under extreme pressure and heat, they would literally blow themselves to bits, spewing gaseous clouds of heavier elements into expanding realms.

In places, these gases would become gathered and gravity would cause their collapse, until a new star was born which would radiate and as it rotated, pull other smaller clouds around it. Bits and pieces would coalesce into planets, some made of gases themselves, but a few made of iron.

One of them became known as the blue dot, gathering over time an atmosphere, cooling, allowing the rain to collect in pools and oceans. Bombarded by other bodies, it became rich in elements, and in a way we as yet do not fully understand, elements of carbon combined with others, and began replicating.

Billions of years went by, and the replications grew in complexity and adaptation. And one day, a human looked upward and wondered, “where did I come from?”

From this beginning of beginnings, began the quest to know ourselves and our creator. We, star dust of distant long exploded stars, enter this holy and quiet time, asking ourselves who we are, where we have failed, how we can do better, and how we can grow ever closer to the one who began our journey.

May you begin this day to have a blessed and fruitful Lenten season.

Amen.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. John Anngeister
    Mar 09, 2011 @ 14:39:29

    Beautiful thoughts, Sherry

    you write:
    “and in a way we as yet do not fully understand, elements of carbon combined with others, and began replicating”

    This way of putting it is wisely phrased – it does not insist on acceptance of something so unscientific as ‘spontaneous generation’ of organic life from lifeless carbon, and yet it does not prohibit an ‘as yet’ which may entail a serious upgrade on our current understandings (i.e. we may not understand until after our souls are raised from the dust in Christ or in God).

    ‘Began replicating’ is a phrase which contains enough unknowns to fill a black hole, in my opinion. We can’t be talking about fossilized muck showing mucky rings of air bubbles here, but something at the complexity level of actual genetic material – without which there is no support for genuine ‘replication’.

    I’ve seen pictures of the greasy carbonic byproducts of vain laboratory attempts to spin organic life out of methane and carbon, etc. In the current view there can be no organic evolution worth discussing scientifically that does not depend upon a natural power that ‘spins’ pre-existent RNA at least (in lieu of the preferred DNA). So we need a whole new view.

    The question of origins is so beyond the apparatus of the laboratory that I feel it would be unscientific for a rational Christian to totally rule out the old statement from the ancient creed which makes “the Holy Spirit the Lord and giver of Life.” I mean if religion is not pure bunk, God has to ‘fit in’ somewhere on the life chain, right? No logic requires matter itself to be alive in order for God to exist. Maybe ‘the Spirit’ instead of ‘the Matter’ gets to break the champagne bottle on the inaugural life form.

    I’m only sayin’ my say. Thanks for the opportunity to reflect on my dust this morning.

    Reply

    • Sherry
      Mar 10, 2011 @ 13:55:45

      Well it’s just part of the great mystery, one we may unravel in some respects and perhaps not. There is always plenty of room for God as agent and first cause in my opinion. It seems beautiful to me, elegant, and that is the way I see God. Opinions are always welcome.

      Reply

  2. erikritland
    Mar 09, 2011 @ 17:53:48

    Nice piece. I learned some cool stuff. It is thought provoking and intelligently said.

    However, personally I find your confidence in contemporary scientific thought to be interesting. I’m not anti-science by any means, nor a purveyor of literalistic Biblical interpretation. I’m just skeptical that everything in contemporary biology, as you lay it out, is true, especially since the sciences have a funny way of disproving things and accepting different theories and ideas every hundred years or so.

    Nice piece, though.

    Reply

    • Sherry
      Mar 10, 2011 @ 13:59:14

      Oh science is always correcting itself, but frankly evolutionary theory is proven so well these days, that there can be little chance that it will be discarded in favor of something “better”. It is the basis of so many other disciplines now, and this would obviously not work unless at its base it were sound. It will always be refined as we refine cosmology.

      I do thank you for your thoughts. I shall stop by and see your blog.

      Reply

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