Star Wars, The Force Awakens hits theaters this weekend and, along with millions of others, I’m pretty pumped. Now I’m not totally “geeked out” about it, but since childhood I have enjoyed sci-fi adventures portrayed in movies like Star Wars, Star Trek, and so on. What really gets my attention are those movies that are based on real science or emerging science. Movies that aren’t so far removed from either the current or near future reality. I think the reason I’m drawn to those kind of films are because they explore and express a true-to-life possible reality. They connect a dream to reality.
A specific area of science fiction that has always fascinated me is the notion of time travel and all the what-ifs associated with this idea. Over the decades, movies have explored a variety of scenarios regarding how it might be possible and all the pros and cons of what might happen if one had the ability to move forward and backward through time and space.
SO PLAY ALONG WITH ME FOR A MOMENT…
What if it were possible?
Where and when would you go?
What would you change or attempt to change from your past?
What would you want to know about your future?
The Nativity scene we portrayed this past weekend at church got me thinking about this. My answer to the first question, where would be Bethlehem and when would be the night Jesus was born. For centuries, we have tried to reenact that moment. Both in simple and complex form, we have allowed our imaginations to create hundreds of versions of what it might have been like. As with many things in scripture, there are details that just aren’t there. Now, I believe that’s not by accident. God’s Word is exactly what He intended, no more, no less. But, like many of you, I long to experience the things I read about firsthand. To have a chance to literally be there in the flesh to see God in the flesh. How amazing would that be? To see the amazement of the shepherds, overhear the conversation between Mary and Joseph, hear God cry and then be comforted. To see the true surroundings of where they ended up that night and understand more fully the humility and simple nature in which God chose to invade our world.
WHEN WE REALIZE THE SIGNIFICANCE OF EMMANUEL
Now, I don’t think time travel is either an emerging science or even a distant future reality. It’s one of those things that I think God says, “Leave that to me because I’m pretty sure you humans couldn’t handle it.” Besides, God allows us to experience the simple awe and wonder of the nativity through His daily presence with us. Emmanuel, God with us, wasn’t just a time and place but an ongoing reality extending to today and tomorrow. And when we realize the significance of Emmanuel, the desire to go back and change something, or to fast forward to find out what is going to happen becomes trivial.