Our worship service at Open Table yesterday was a contemplative one. Instead of a sermon this week, I’m posting the “invocation” I offered at the start of Mobile’s March for Science. Not a traditional prayer, the following was my attempt to be inclusive of people of all faiths and no particular faith tradition and to affirm that science is no threat to Christianity but in fact helps Christian theologians refine theology. It assumes that paying attention is an aspect of prayer. –Ellen Sims
I’m marching for science because science has taught the Church that this good earth is not the center of the universe, not even the center of our solar system.
I’m marching for science because science has taught the Church that race is a social construct, so there’s only one human race.
I’m marching for science because science has taught/is teaching the Church that LGBTQ persons do not need to be repaired.
I’m marching for science because science has taught the Church that we are made of stardust!
At some basic level, both good religion and good science help us pay attention
so that we can understand
so that we can respond
so that we offer care to this planet and her innumerable and interconnected inhabitants.
Being human requires us to pay attention.
I invite you now to pay attention to the mystery that is the beating of your heart and the intake of your breath. Pay attention with awe, with thanks. (silence)
I invite you to revel attentively in the beauty of this day with awe, with thanks. (silence)
I invite you to call to mind the relationships you hold dear and the inter-relatedness of all life. Do so with awe, with thanks. (silence)
Finally, let us undertake the scientific and spiritual task of imagining possibilities for a future where science learns more and human hearts love more. (silence)
We contemplate that future with ardent yearning, profound hope, and earnest commitment.
To this possibility I give my Amen.