The Rev Dr. J Mary Henderson, Laurieston linked with Redding and Westquarter

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“He is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17 NIV)

Breaking news as I write is that scientists analysing data from the Large Hadron Collidor, buried deep beneath the mountains of Geneva, have ‘almost certainly’ found the elusive Higgs boson, the so-called ‘God particle’, which gives matter mass and holds the universe together.

Militant atheists will doubtless be chalking this up as evidence for their belief that everything can be explained without reference to God; while fearful Christians may be tempted to fight back with verses such as the one above.

Wiser and more moderate people on both sides, and many who are somewhere in the middle, will stop to wonder at the incredible complexity of the universe, an infinitesimal part of which we inhabit for a fleeting moment of time, and will reflect that the more we understand, the more we realise how little we know. Scientific discovery can neither create religious faith nor threaten it.

Those of us engaged in the search for truth of a different order than that of the brilliant Genevan troglodytes will take comfort from our conviction that the universe is held together not merely by sub-atomic gloop, but by the equally mysterious and infinitely more powerful force of love.