Vicar’s reflection for Merchant Navy Day 1.9.23

If you have managed to visit Durham Cathedral over the summer you will have seen the art installation Gaia hanging at the west end of the nave. Gaia is the world. Children can stand beneath it. Adults take selfies. Many people pose so that they can seemingly hold the whole world in their hands.
But that, of course is not possible. In comparison with the world, let alone this huge expanding universe we are (to quote the scriptures) as grains of sand on the seashore, dust in the scales of history.
Beneath the model Gaia my primary thought was ‘there’s an awful lot of sea’: Europe and its land mass was almost out of view to me – the Pacific and Atlantic cover mile upon mile of the earth’s surface. To be at sea, to be one of the almost 2 million seafarers worldwide, is to be faced with the power of nature the grandeur of the world and the universe seen in the depths of the ocean and the stars of the night sky.
‘Who are we’ we might ask ‘that God might care for us’?
The Christian faith invites us to consider that we (all people, no matter their creed or colour) are God’s children. Whoever we are and wherever we are He is our Father. We live and die before Him: known and loved from and to eternity. We may be small but He is great and His greatness is most perfectly seen in His love.
The whole world is held in His hands and He never lets us fall from His care.

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