Jeffrey Kemmerer
Grace Allentown

Caution ! Sharp Turn Ahead ! Careful Not to Bump Your Knees

13 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants of one another.
14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Galatians 5:13-14

I make no apologies for my technical background. I, like many others, try to rationalize technical information with spiritual information. Sometimes I am successful, but often I am confused. I don’t agonize over the confusion as my “Ant on the Hamburger” post will reveal (stay tuned !).

As a lifelong resident of the Lehigh Valley, the “Star of Bethlehem” is a familiar symbol of the city, Christmas, and for Episcopalians, the Diocese of Bethlehem. I find it illuminating (no pun intended) to consider the analogy of our pilgrimage as a rekindling or at least renovation of our star.

Particle physics and cosmology (read carefully, not cosmetology ) are two of my interests (a geek, I admit it). Reviewing how a star forms has provided me with some insight on our journey and how we can accomplish the work to be done on our own star.

To make a star ….

First start with a large hand full of material – bread crumbs will do. We are talking about a “God sized” handful – many times the mass of the earth. Natural attraction (gravity) will draw this material together and organize it. Boundaries will disappear and inter-particle energy will increase. This coalesced mass will attract additional material (bread crumbs in training ?) from outside, increasing its mass and energy.

The process continues as more material is attracted and the particles draw closer and closer together. They provide energy to each other until a critical mass is achieved. At this point, the nuclear furnaces ignite, the fusion reaction begins, and the star radiates energy to the neighborhood and beyond.

Perhaps as we travel on our pilgrimage, we, as a diocese should draw closer together. We can rely on each other for energy and inspiration, drawing in additional “croutons” from our friends and neighbors. When we achieve critical mass, a point that only God can know, our furnaces will ignite and we can radiate our good news to the neighborhood and beyond.