Contemplating the Cosmos

“We have seen his star in the East and have come to worship him”
— Mat. 2:2

Two thousand years ago, astronomers from the East, upon contemplating the heavens became convinced that the appearance of a star signified the birth of an important king and set out on a long journey to investigate,  “The star beckoned the three wise men out of their distant country and led them to recognize and adore the King of heaven and earth.” (Sermon, Leo the Great).  The three wise men, thought to be astronomers, upon finding a young child of humble birth became convinced that this child was indeed Lord of Creation and did him homage.  What was it that made the astronomers think that an ordinary looking child was indeed divine?  Somehow, their contemplation of Creation allowed them to recognize the Creator in the person of Jesus Christ.

There is a long-standing view held within the Christian tradition (and indeed within the Abrahamic religions more broadly) that by experiencing the wonder and beauty of Creation, one’s heart and mind can be elevated to God and one can come to a knowledge of the Creator through contemplation of Creation.  But if this is true, why are there so many astronomers who dedicate their lives to the study of the Universe who do not come to knowledge of the Creator?