Digging in Deeper: Isaiah 9:6

“For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on his shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

What kind of a Savior do you want? Given that a Savior has already come, that may seem like a somewhat irrelevant question. After all, if the Savior has indeed come, the kind of Savior you want is a moot point. You get the Savior that is. But it is perhaps not so irrelevant a question as you might imagine. The thing or person we imagine will save us tends to become the object of our worship. The reason that matters is we gradually become like what we worship. I’m thinking about this today because I recently finished watching the latest science fiction film, Dune. Now, as a disclaimer, I haven’t read the book (although it is on my shelf and on my list). That simply means I’m pretty new to the story. I’ve seen most of the 1984 version of the movie, but don’t remember it. That being said, I know there’s a second movie coming eventually so there’s more story to come. Still, the idea very obviously driving the story so far is that the main character, Paul, is believed to be a messiah figure by many people. And the kind of messiah they believe him to be affects who they become. This morning let’s talk about the kind of things we want to save us, the kind of Messiah we have, and why this all matters so much.

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Digging in Deeper: Genesis 1:1

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Did you ever watch episodes of the old Star Trek series? No, not that one. Nope, not that one either. I’m talking about the one with William Shatner. That was a fun series. Gene Rodenberry was a visionary of the highest order. Do you remember some of the technological wonders he imagined we would have in the 23rd Century? At least, many of those things seemed like distantly future wonders in 1966 when the series premiered. Now? Well, many of them still seemed pretty far-fetched, but not as many as did then. Things like traveling through space and wireless communicators and even some of the medical treatment and diagnostic tools they had are practically matters of course nowadays. And this isn’t the only time science fiction writers of the past correctly predicted technologies of the present. Some concepts that started as the fanciful imaginings of guys who were always just a little bit…different from everyone else are being brought into reality revealing those guys as a whole lot more forward thinking than anyone really expected. Then again, some science fiction ideas are just that in spite of our best efforts to the contrary. This morning I want to talk with you about science fiction, reality, and how everything got here.

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Morning Musing: Mark 7:33-35

“So he took him away from the crowd in private. After putting his fingers in the man’s ears and spitting, he touched his tongue. Looking up to heaven, he sighed deeply and said to him ‘Ephphatha!’ (that is, ‘Be opened!’). Immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was loosened, and he began to speak clearly.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

One of the most famous quotes from the world of science fiction comes from Arthur C. Clarke, author of, among many other things, 2001: A Space Odyssey. He said this: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” The idea here is that when we don’t understand how something works, we eventually just use magic as our explanation. Today we have generally been taught to think in technological terms, but if really pressed, most of us don’t have any earthly idea how most of the pieces of technology that have become so fundamentally integral to our daily lives work. They might as well be magic boxes. We just don’t say or even think that because, technology. This technological presupposition leaves us thinking critically when we read about some of the miracles Jesus performed. This miracle is a particularly good example. Let’s talk about one of the stranger miracles Jesus performed.

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