The morning news today is all about the Mars landing of the vehicle “Curiosity” which will hopefully justify its tremendous expenditure, over 2.5 billion dollars, by sending back some data that will significantly advance our scientific knowledge and hopefully have some practical applications in the future as well. Who knows? But it is interesting that this landing occurred on the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima which was made possible by previous advances in scientific knowledge and has left this earth with the constant threat of nuclear annihilation ever since that fateful day in 1945. Science has no ability to determine the moral or immoral applications that may derive from its “advances.”
An even more interesting coincidence is that fact that this Mars touchdown of “Curiosity” occurred on the feast of the Transfiguration, but of course this would not be noted in the world press, the instruments of propaganda in the western world so fascinated by science and so increasingly uninterested in virtually anything having to do with religion, except its scandals. No one should deny the marvelous accomplishments of engineering and technology involved in getting this scientific instrument safely on Mars and hopefully functioning the way it was planned. But from a truly religious point of view, this marvel of science and technology, and its possible benefits for mankind, is relatively nothing in comparison with the benefits promised and achieved by the Transfiguration of Christ on that Mountain. We see that radical disproportion even more clearly in that other event that took place on August 6, 1945. What a warning for us that the blinding light of the destructive power of man’s atomic bomb should take place on the very day when Christians are celebrating the infinitely greater light of the Transfiguration which not only does not blind, but enables us to truly see; “in your light we see light.”
What wonders are contained in this feast of Christ’s transfiguration. A man-made vehicle safely touched down on another planet today – wonderful – but the God of creation, the Eternal God, the Son, not only “touched down” on our planet, but magnificently illuminated human life and elevated the destiny of every human person far beyond the stars, beyond the universe itself that science explores, to the very throne of God. Why did God become a man? So that man could become a participator in His Godhead, become truly divinized in Christ, and thus share His light, His glory forever, not simply in “the heavens” He created, but in the Heaven that God is for those who believe and love God as God has loved us. And all of this begins here, on this planet, in this time and space, for those who desire it more than they desire life itself.