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Thursday, 20 October 2016

The Bible Starts with Parable. (Sing of God and Science 2)

Cross-stitch emblem for Christ’s 
Lordship over the Cosmos


 In my last post, I promised to return to the main theme of this blog, rather than dwell on the changing effects of my chemotherapy course. This post will be faithful to that promise but, as there are some readers who are following our story and have made it clear they would like news, here is a very brief update.

I am extremely relieved to say the treatment, now in its sixth day has gone very well so far: none of the horrid side effects we were (properly) warned of and I still have my hair (O vanity!). Now I am off the steroids, which undoubtedly fuelled my energy levels as the course started, we will see to what degree tiredness sets in. From this very short synopsis, you will understand that Pam and I feel VERY thankful for this good start and continue to be grateful for the generous practical and prayer support we are receiving. It is good to be surrounded by, and in contact with so many Christian friends at a time like this.

So, on to the Science and Faith.

With energy levels high, I have been able to produce several new songs – and this one can be sung to the lively  traditional Tyrolean tune, called simply ‘Tyrol’, the score of which follows the words.

The Bible Starts with Parable (Tune: Tyrol)
The Bible starts with parable,
Creation in six days,
And then God rests, encouraging
A day set by for praise.
The Bible’s second parable;
Lies in a garden fair;
Where Eve and Adam struggle to
Resist the serpent’s dare.

These stories are by Wisdom shaped,
The Ancients taught them well,
How at God’s Word creation sprang
And human beings ‘fell’.
But this is not our history,
the truth is greater still,
A whole cosmos from nothing came
Through God’s almighty will.

It grew from minute particles
To stars and galaxies,
And planets grew round mighty suns.
Earth-life came latterly.
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
When science helps make clear
How beauty, awe and wonder flow,
Through all creation’s spheres.

© Trevor Thorn: October 2016

Score (Click to enlarge)





I have a number of observations about the text which I’d like to share.
First, this is one of a series of songs being developed to encourage churches, schools, para-church groups (and maybe even the general public) to start singing to celebrate that Faith and science can be dynamic partners in reflecting the glory of God evident all around us.

It is to be hoped that the lively tune and the theme will appeal to children and young people particularly (although there are more songs being developed especially for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 children). There is no doubt that many young people, and others, are struggling with the question of whether science and faith are in opposition to each other. If this song can reassure even some such people that it is perfectly possible to see the two in harmony, then it will have achieved what is hoped.

There could be a very interesting use for this song during any local Festivals of Nine Lessons and Carols (made internationally famous by Kings College, Cambridge). If it were to be placed as an ‘interjection’ after the reading about Adam and Eve, which is a traditional reading in the  lovely Festival, it would cast across the remaining story of the unfolding of the coming of Jesus,  an interweaving of the remarkable understandings of contemporary cosmology with all their overtones of glory, wonder and awe. I sense that could be a very thought-provoking moment or two.

Just a word about the genesis of this song: it emerged - almost spilled out during one of the sleepless spells that have been part of the last few days. I like to think of it, at least in part, as an answer to my regularly used ‘Prayer for Creativity’. You can find that from the link at the foot of this entry. 

Finally, if you are in Christian leadership of any kind and want to help others to wrestle with the challenges of science and faith together or apart, then do feel entirely free to send this to others engaged in the same ministry of encouragement. The sooner we start to sing it, the more the idea will blossom and grow.

May God bless you all. Trevor

Find the Prayer for Creativity HERE
There are now six more assembly-friendly in a collection which you can find by clicking HERE
More will be added to this selection in Spring 2017.


Ten thousand billion suns - A scintilla of God’s Universe

Ten thousand billion suns - A scintilla of God’s Universe
It is currently thought that the Universe has at least 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars! Hence the use of the word ‘scintilla’ for a mere ten thousand billion.

Cross and Particle Accelerator (CGI)

Cross and Particle Accelerator (CGI)
Cross and Particle Accelerator. The words of 'A Prayer for Understanding' can be viewed by clicking on this image

Nebula (Embroidery)

Nebula (Embroidery)
Nebula (Embroidery) to accompany the poem 'Invitation' which can be found by clicking on the image.

Orange Galaxy

Orange Galaxy
'Orange Galaxy' posted to accompany 'Bounded and Boundless'. Go to the poem by clicking on the image.

Cosmic Icon 7 Summerflower

Cosmic Icon 7 Summerflower
Cosmic Icon 7 - Summerflower Nebula (Acrylic)

Cosmic Ikon 8 Moth

Cosmic Ikon 8 Moth
Cosmic Ikon 8: Moth Nebula(imagined-acrylic) The Gold field of deep space is intended to convey the Lordship of Christ over the whole of the Cosmos

Surprise garden rose (Photo)

Surprise garden rose (Photo)
This beautiful head of roses in our garden, which are giving off a delightful perfume in the morning sun, seems a fitting picture to link to the sonnet 'Evolution and Beauty'. Let the picture take you there. It is a surprise because it is growing high on a bush of otherwise pure yellow roses: amazing!

Cross and Vortex

Cross and Vortex
'Cross and Vortex' to accompany 'Stars and Planets Sing Your Glory'. Click on the image to go to the poem/hymn.

Gaseous Cosmic Threads (Mixed media)

Gaseous Cosmic Threads (Mixed media)
Gaseous Cosmic Threads: Mixed media - acrylics and painted threads

St Francis’ Sky (Photo)

St Francis’ Sky (Photo)
Warm Umbrian Hills: Click image to take you to the poem St Francis' Sky

Cosmic Labyrinth (CGI)

Cosmic Labyrinth (CGI)
'Cosmic Labyrinth' - This icon is a symbol of the path through the near reaches of the Cosmos with its 'Havens' where current advances in science (2012/13) are celebrated. By clicking on the picture you will be taken to the latest version of the poem of the same name.

Cross of Autumn Leaves (cropped Photo)

Cross of Autumn Leaves (cropped Photo)
Time, perhaps to consider a restorative break before the approach of Advent/ Christmas. Let this image take you to 'On Drawing Apart'.

IONA: The Marble Quarry (Photo)

IONA: The Marble Quarry (Photo)
On the South shore of Iona is a bay which shows the industrial scarring of a beautiful place. Read of it by clicking on the picture

Cross and simple Prayer rope (Photo)

Cross and simple Prayer rope (Photo)
Cross and simple prayer rope: make one like this to use as an aid to using ‘The Jesus Prayer'