The Love that moves the Sun


When you think of February if you’re a romantic you might think of Valentine’s Day, the cards, the chocolates, the very expensive flowers, tokens of love shared by couples across the world. This month our blogs explore the theme of love. But for me, the most interesting love is the one that ‘moves the sun, and the others stars’ as the poet put it – God. ‘God is love’ as St John put it. 


When I was a little boy I met the great popular astronomer Sir Patrick Moore at Liverpool Museum, addressing a group of schoolchildren. I’m not sure what we all made of him, with his eccentric mannerisms and monocle. But what was very clear was his passion for the stars, for the grandeur of the cosmos, and his desire to share that love with us. I remember that he told us never to look directly at the sun, and that if we didn’t have a telescope not to worry, because a pair of binoculars would do us just as well. He encouraged us to look up in wonder, and with understanding. 


This month, during half-term, our Cathedral will be welcoming many visitors to experience projections of some of the wonders of space, and space exploration, within our great space. I was asked to write a prayer for them, to help them connect with the Christian understanding of God as the mystery of love supporting all Creation:  


Fill me with wonder, like a child. Give me wisdom. Make me humble. Let me lean on your strength, not my own; feel you counting the hairs of my head, before the stars were made. With tender mercy hold me. O Love, God, flood my darkness with light, your glory; by faith in pure love, stronger than death; Jesus Christ, who lives, now, and for ever, world without end. Amen.