Saturday, 31 August 2013

On the edge of forever

"Joy is never in our power and pleasure often is" 
--C.S. Lewis

Are you ever surprised by how little you really know?
It doesn't have to be a shock about something major, like some big new front-page discovery, it can be something quite small and often just about yourself - something that a particular moment brings into focus that you hadn't noticed before.

At the end of a life often overflowing with pleasures, Solomon came to realize just how much he still had to understand, and how futile life can become when we fail to accommodate that higher wisdom.

As we form in the womb, he notes, the Spirit is weaving amidst our bones (11:5). As we work and prosper, enjoying the light and warmth of the sun, we need to be aware that a deeper wealth beyond such immediate cheer can only continue if something, someone, is sought that alone brings a truth which endures when the days are darker and the prospects appear bleak.

In his concluding thoughts in his epistle to the Romans, Paul speaks of his hope that his readers may be filled with the 'joy and peace in believing' the good news concerning Jesus Christ (15:13). When we read of such gifts in scripture, we are speaking of mercies which transcend our everyday moments of quality or pleasure, though these can indeed prompt us to be aware of something richer and engender a desire within us to know such depths.

Peace in this life comes only through our gaze becoming directed and then fixed upon the astonishing person and work of Jesus, because it is only there that we may find a true resolution to our deepest troubles and surety that goodness and mercy have replaced our poverty and exile.
Joy, as Lewis noted, is a gift which will surprise us - moments which enfold us with a sense of splendor and goodness far above and beyond the norm, opening wide the windows into another country - home.

Whatever we do, wisdom encourages us to pursue and delight in such wealth, so whatever our short days here bring, we can truly become wise and wealthy for all that is yet to come.

"May your hearts be encouraged and knit together in this love, to gain the richness and full assurance of knowing and understanding God's profound mystery, the person of Christ, in whom is stored all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge"  (Colossians 2:2 & 3).

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Amidst Sacrifice and Worship...

It's clearly a good time for Science Fiction.
I recently watched, with relish, the superb first episode of the fan-produced episode of Star Trek continues; a show that is really seeking to proceed from where the original series left off, and is not afraid to pull out all the stops to do so:

The first show is a follow-up story on the god Apollo, brilliantly played once again by Michael Forest. Kirk and crew find themselves having to deal with a being who expects humanity to be servile to his needs and his need for their worship, but as events unfold, Apollo and the crew are reminded that there is a far greater force in the universe - compassion, which leads a person to extraordinary action.

The episode makes some very telling statements about what humanity is, and what it truly needs to be made whole, and whilst the notion of worship here is very simple, virtually one-dimensional (and therefore a caricature of what worship itself is actually all about), it is used well to reveal what can occur when an understanding of the divine is ill-defined.

The conclusion of the episode is superb, and entirely in sync with Star Trek's long-standing practice to speak about what truly counts, here or amongst the stars. It profoundly reminds us that healing only comes when what truly offends - miss-placed notions of ourselves, of religion, and life in general - are removed and replaced by a love that entirely gives itself to meet the need of our current condition... a love at the heart of the life and work of Jesus Christ.

It's great to see this kind of Trek being made again, so all my best to the team. Watch, enjoy, and be reminded of the one who truly came from heaven to love us in this manner.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

What if...

I really love Science Fiction. It's a genre which allows us to really examine and explore our existence, and, at it's best, raises thoughts and questions that make us stop... and wonder.

The last 40 years have allowed us to do justice to visualizing some of this material, but occasionally, amidst the popular blockbusters and money-spinners, a gem gets overlooked.
Final Approach, released in the early 90's, is just such a gem.

The first film to be made in digital sound, it uses stunning visuals to focus on what is probably the ultimate character story (to say more would be to give too much away!). Aside from a very short limited contracted release, the film has never been available on DVD, but it is now available to view on line!

There isn't a single person on this planet that doesn't believe in something about who they are and why they are here - as a friend stated recently, Atheists actually believe in a bigger miracle than theists, because they believe that everything came from nothing. Movies like this help us to think deeply about the big question... Why?