In the beginning, God said “Let there be light.” And there was life.
Science has proven that bombarding inert matter with light over time will eventually cause life to spring forth. And once alive, all living organisms instinctively seek out the light. The light is the source of energy and therefore of life itself. And every speck of matter contains energy that is equal to its mass multiplied exponentially, via quantum leap, by the speed of light. Thus is light the key to life.
Life, as we know it one earth, has expressed itself in different ways. In the grandeur of nature. From the tiny bacteria to the giant sequoia. From the fish in the ocean to the birds in the air. From the variety of the different living species to the prodigal proliferation of life even in the most unexpected places. From the joy of a new birth and even in the poignancy of death. Looking at all these fill me with awe and wonder. A wondering that gives me goose bumps and even causes my spine to tingle, the hairs on my back to stand up.
I recently came across the article “Why do we experience awe?” by Paul Piff and Dacher Keltner in the New York Times editorials and they observed:
Here’s a curious fact about goose bumps. In many nonhuman mammals, goose bumps — that physiological reaction in which the muscles surrounding hair follicles contract — occur when individuals, along with other members of their species, face a threat. We humans, by contrast, can get goose bumps when we experience awe, that often-positive feeling of being in the presence of something vast that transcends our understanding of the world.
When we stand in awe, we stand before the God who said in the beginning, “Let there be light!” In His Infiniteness, we can never fully know nor comprehend Him. As we have evolved, we have come to know a little more about Him over time. In the early times, He was seen as the Creator and rightly so. Everything there is has come about simply because He spoke the Word. As Lord of creation, He was seen as completely in control of all creation, disposing of people and events much like the early kings and emperors. Things get done or happen merely on His say-so.
Then He took on our life form and became man. God sent His only begotten Son to live among us. Jesus revealed God to us as Father – Source of Life, Abiding Presence and Sustenance, Prodigal in His Love and Generosity towards us. And Christ further taught that He and the Father are one. And when He was with us, He told us of the Father’s great desire to have a loving relationship with us and with one another. And then, He was gone. He left and went back to the Father.
But He promised not to leave us orphans, alone in our struggling in this world. He said He would send the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, who would keep on teaching us and guiding us in our search for and understanding of God. Through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit among us God continues to be Emmanuel – God is with us.
And so it is we participate in this great cosmic adventure called life and that, standing in wonder before the awesome, we are baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.