Let's begin by reflecting a moment on the 8th Psalm. If you are a fan of Darkwood Brew (and who isn't?), the you'll know that Psalm 8 is the centering text for this week's worship and conversation. Here's my favorite part of Psalm 8:
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars that you have established;
what are human beings that you are mindful of them,
Before we go forward, please read the following disclaimer:
This is poetic speech. Anyone - fundamentalist Christian and fundamentalist Atheist alike - who reads this text and tries to establish or discredit a cosmology out of it ought to be thrown into utter darkness with people who discuss the germ content of saliva before a first kiss, people who tell small children that Santa isn't real, and anyone else who ruins a great moment with misfounded attempts at 'realism.' Now, back to our psalm.
The psalmist invites us to look at the startling beauty of creation and to get lost in the wonder of it all. But, rather than simply having this experience vicariously through the psalmist's eyes and words, the psalm invites us to practice wonder and to give it a voice.
So, in the same manner, I invite you to take some time and consider this picture, called "Mystic Mountain" from the Hubble telescope. First, just look at it for a while. Second, feel free to read the description from the Hubble Telescope web site. Third, find the beauty and wonder in the picture, that lies even beyond the scientific description itself. And, finally, write something in the comment section - anything - to express the moment. Don't feel the need to be "religious" about it - Wonder is religious enough. Don't let your literalism take over - aim to express that which lies beyond the literal. Be authentic, be poetic, be bold. Be a psalmist.
Here's the picture:
Here's the detail from http://hubblesite.org/gallery/album/show/entire/pr2010013a/from/show/
Hubble's 20th anniversary image shows a mountain of dust and gas rising in the Carina Nebula. The top of a three-light-year tall pillar of cool hydrogen is being worn away by the radiation of nearby stars, while stars within the pillar unleash jets of gas that stream from the peaks.