Science teaches us about energy and matter which are the building blocks of the universe. Science also teaches us about DNA and cells which are the building blocks of life on our planet. Science also helps us to understand the building blocks of humanity, such as water, fire, farming, tools, writing, story-telling, art, religion and spirituality. Did all of these incredible building blocks just occur by random chance? Did the forces of nature simply develop as happy accidents in a cosmic lottery of existence? This is what atheists ask us to believe, that our existence is purely accidental. But we must ask the questions: Why did life occur on our tiny planet amidst the vastness of the universe and why is it so adaptable and fruitful?
Many of the forces throughout the universe, such as electromagnetic forces and gravitational forces each have just the right values to act together over billions of years to make life possible on earth. These surprising discoveries by scientists are known as curious coincidences. All of these curious coincidences make the universe that we know possible. Therefore, we can think of the universe as fine-tuned. Even tiny changes in any of these forces would make the existence of life impossible. From our perspective today, it very much looks like the universe has all been carefully arranged.
When we reflect on science, it is important to remember that science has limitations and that it does not have a monopoly on reason. Our faith is just as rational as scientific exploration. We must also acknowledge that our faith is limited for we see reality through a veil. We all have limitations and these limitations humble us. But we must treasure the reality that our limitations invite us to acknowledge the deep mysteries of divine truth.
We also each have unique strengths and these strengths have a purpose because they help give shape to our lives. Indeed, we can count our faith in God as our greatest strength for it is a strength that can touch every fibre of our being. When we consider all of the different faiths around the globe, it is a strength that we share with billions of people.
We grow as individuals and as a people by remaining open to all the truths that God has set before us. God speaks to us through our experiences. Our experiences of wonder, awe and beauty captivates us. Indeed, the immense beauty of creation is a message from God that harmony is possible. When we work towards harmony, we learn to love ourselves a little bit more. When we work towards harmony, we learn to love each other a little bit more. When we work towards harmony, we may even learn to love God a little bit more. This certainty moves us beyond the realm of happy accidents and brings us closer to the heavenly realm of divine truth.
The curious coincidences that science has revealed opens our minds and our hearts to incredible wonder. We know now with greater certainty than ever before that our world is not a closed off world. It is a connected world that invites us to reach out beyond ourselves to witness the true miracle of our existence. The deep order that we find across the universe and in living systems here on earth suggests that we are right to perceive the world as a divine creation but we must remain alert to the fact that creation is ongoing and that we each have a role to play.
We can all sense the deep ethical values that we try to live by. These values are reflections of God’s goodness and perfection. The order, beauty and fruitful abundance of our planet reflects our creator’s purpose. Our faith in God supports us to integrate the curious coincidences of our existence with the beauty and ethical values that we perceive every day. When we truly experience the ordered beauty that surrounds us, we share in God’s glorious joy in creation.
God invites us to explore divine revelation more closely. Sacred scripture contains a divine wisdom that extends far beyond science. Yet, science gives us the tools to better understand our world and indeed all of creation. Science and faith together help us to experience the incredible majesty of our existence. Both can help us on our spiritual journey to explore the nature of ultimate reality.
Throughout the long history of the universe, God has laid the building blocks for existence. Throughout the history of humankind, God has laid the building blocks for a fruitful life. In the story of our own lives, God freely gives us the building blocks for a life well-lived. Let us open our hearts and minds to God’s glory so that we see more clearly the building blocks in our own lives. This is the key to our transformation.
In our world today, we need more thanksgiving for what has been freely provided for us. Our prayers give thanks for creation and our traditions bring us closer to divine truth. What we do with this truth is up to us! Let us use our freedom wisely. Our freedom to respond to God’s love reflects the eternal love of our creator. There can be no greater purpose in life.