More than two trillion galaxies exist according to a recent report from the Hubble Space Telescope. My brain long ago reached its limit of understanding, just trying to fathom just the mere existence of our galaxy, the Milky Way. How did it all begin? Does it have an end? While such questions of cosmology are beyond my comprehension as a scientific topic, I still can approach the story of the universe as a sacred drama. In fact, our future may depend upon it.
Sometimes I want a divine explanation for the origins of the universe. I like the concept of a master architect who keeps the planets spinning. I pray that there is some orderliness to existence, which gives our lives meaning. At the same time, I don’t doubt the scientific discoveries. My problem is that with only a cosmological approach I feel anxiety and despair. Our planet seems so insignificant and each of its living components appears to be negligible.
Rather, I can find the laws of physics and divinity to be interrelating. I prefer to read our sacred creation myth as incorporating the science of cosmology. The notion of two trillion galaxies created with reference to a Divine source, confirms for me the authorship of God. As Rabbi Arthur Green writes in Radical Judaism: “A God who has no place in the process of how we got here is a God who begins in the human mind, a mere idea of God . . . but that is not God.” Rabbi Green describes a God who “underlies all being” and the cosmological and evolutionary processes are among the many descriptions of the Holy One. New scientific discoveries enhance God’s identity rather serving as a negation of an indescribable Creative force.
As the reports from the Hubble Telescope keep challenging our notions of the universe, our creation myth should change with each discovery. Neither is distinct. We should not absent God from science. In fact the future of our planet could depend upon sustaining the role of God in cosmology and evolution. Here’s why.
In a God centered creation myth, everything matters to God. With God as the source of life, I don’t simply marvel at creation. I am moved to action. I am compelled to protect the environment, respect animal life, and see every person as if created in the image of God. I anticipate an earth based, creation focused Judaism lead by people like Michael Pollack, a rabbinic student. He has a "ministry" to protect our world, protesting against fracking and lobbying for human rights. In this way the Jewish religion has a key role in our future and the future of our planet.
My belief in a God inspires me to cherish life and improve this world. Please join us in the holy work of being God’s partner in the ongoing creation of our world.
R Evan J. Krame