The Word on the Week

Comet 67P

“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard.”

The opening words to Psalm 19 which King David penned some three millenniums ago capture something of the magnificence of our summer sunsets that light up the evening sky. This universal language which transcends spoken language speaks of order and consistency as night follows day in unbroken succession.

Into our solar system came the Rosetta Probe. It was launched from France 10 years ago and, rather like the stone in David’s sling which he used to kill Goliath, it was whirled three times round the earth in an increasing orbit then let fly for Comet 67P. It arrived this week at its destination, a lump of ice, dust and rock all frozen together and measuring 2.5 miles wide. The plans are to drop a land craft onto the surface in November to see what it is made of. In particular they want to test the water which is melting on the comet to compare it with our water on earth.

It seems a long way to go to check out water quality but, of course, the underlying quest is for origins – who made water and where did it come from?

Having left the Biblical explanation of creation behind in junior school and having decided that the order and consistency that we take for granted must have evolved they take God out of the reckoning. As St Paul puts it in Romans Chapter 1 verses 19/20, “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”

But there is another water that Jesus spoke about when he analysed its quality for the Samaritan woman. It is recorded in St John’s gospel chapter 4 verses 9/26. This he described as “living water” and said it would satisfy and sustain her for the rest of her life.

This gift from Jesus of the Holy Spirit can be received without a trip to Comet 67P but with a simple prayer of faith to Jesus the giver of living water.