We sense at a deep level God's 'hand' is in all things
The world's leading physicists are rightly very excited at the moment after the almost certain discovery of the so-called "God particle" in experiments at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva. This is one of the greatest leaps forward in the whole history of science.
The new sub-atomic particle, the Higgs boson, named after Professor Peter Higgs, who hypothesised its existence in the early 1960s, is key to the scientific understanding of all matter. Here is the particle which appears to give 'mass' to all things. The find was hailed across the globe and is an incredible achievement as we seek to explore more deeply the nature all things.
Should I give up my day job now? If we've discovered the "God particle", does that mean that what I do as a priest is irrelevant?
Well, interestingly enough, most scientists dislike the term "God particle".
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As the scientist and Anglican Bishop of Swindon, Lee Rayfield commented, "The discovery provides crucial support that the prevailing scientific theory or 'Standard Model' for the nature of the universe is correct.
That said – and despite its nickname – the Higgs boson still leaves plenty of unanswered questions that science alone can never address."
The point is that, as important as science is, it only answers the 'what?' and 'how?' of things, rather than the 'why'? The latter question of 'why?' being more the domain of religion. That said, it is not the role of religion to posit that God must exist just because we still can't explain everything. That would be intellectually sloppy. A sort of "God of the gaps" approach.
Of course, Christians believe in a Creator God. Through faith in Jesus Christ, we sense at a deep level that God's 'hand' is in all things bringing them to their fulfilment. We hold in our hearts a strong belief that God, who is Spirit, breathes life into chaos and brings order from it. We believe that we, as humans are the pinnacle of that creation. Above all, though, we believe that the true "God particle" is the seed of faith sown in our daily lives, when we seek to bring the Good News into the lives of others and allow the grace of God to let it flourish. So, with that in mind, I'll never be out of a job!
Father Matt Anscombe is the Assistant Priest of the Clifton Diocese