A message from The Rev’d Keith Adlam, Associate Priest.

Posted by Admin on 24 May 2008, 12:00 am

A few weeks ago I read an article about the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) which houses the world’s largest particle accelerator. Most of the activities at CERN are currently directed towards building a new collider, the Large Hadron Collider and the experiments for it. The Collider is in a tunnel located 100 metres underground, in the region between the Geneva airport and the nearby Jura mountains and uses a 27 km circumference circular tunnel.  CERN’s existing accelerator complexes will be used to pre-accelerate protons which will then be injected into the Collider at which point the collisions that occur as a  result will be measured in an attempt, as I understood the article to say, to emulate what happened at Big Bang – that moment when many scientists believe the earth came into existence. The data that will be gathered in a fraction of time (nanoseconds or less?) will fit into a stack of CDs the height of the Eiffel Tower. This data will then be available for analysis!! All this is physics on a grand scale and way beyond my GCE “O” level in General Science. 

However, I have always had a fascination for large scale engineering projects that are necessary “to make things happen” and CERN is no exception. What did occur to me, as I read the article and marvelled at the skills and abilities behind the project, was a verse from Psalm 8 when the writer talking of God asks “What are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?”  If we look at the earth with all its diversity we have a God that gives the intelligence to do so much. Although we may be dwarfed by the immensity of the universe or a particle accelerator or even our own world (whatever shape that may take) the thoughts expressed in the psalm allow us to realise that God has our personal interest at heart, that humanity need not be overwhelmed. But the psalm also speaks of God’s majesty and glory and this is where I take encouragement because despite his awesomeness, he is not a distant God but he has chosen to dwell with us, to be with us in our daily lives, in all our circumstances. In the church’s year, we have recently celebrated Pentecost, that time after our Lord had ascended back to heaven, when God’s Holy Spirit came upon the early church to be with them as one who comforts, who inspires, who enables us to do and achieve things. It wasn’t a one-off event for those disciples at that time but has been given to all Christ’s followers down the ages. So in the 21st Century we can have that assurance that God is with us in the great things and in the small things of life.

Oh, by the way, I shall await with interest the results of the experiment.

God’s blessings on all of you

Keith Adlam

Associate Priest.


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