Sunday, October 23, 2005

Stargate SG1

This afternoon's episode of Stargate was enlightening for me.

The episode was called Avatar; it concerned one of the character's (Teal'c), getting trapped in a computer simulation that continually evolved to stop him getting out. As it was a kind of virtual reality machine, his adrenaline and heart rate were responding to the stimulus... and the continual strain were taking a heavy toll on him; he could not be removed from the machine as it would result in severe neurological damage. On his own, despite his combat prowess... every time he got round one problem, something new tricked him and he got "killed" forcing the game to restart (while on the outside his body degenerated further).

The situation was resolved by sending Daniel Jackson in to rescue him (Daniel was not fully plugged in... so had the advantage of having 2 seconds of foreknowledge as to what the computer would do. At first this didn't do much as Teal'c kept killing him, thinking he was an enemy (the main bad guy was possessing familiar people in the game).

Eventually the situation is resolved in a stand-off. Four characters hold each other at gunpoint... one out of two of them is possessed... Daniel suddenly sees someone behind them (seemingly dead), rise up and start shooting... but this is two seconds in the future. Hr warns Teal'c and they shoot him while he is still getting up. Resolving the game and ending the episode.

What has all this got to do with faith?

The truth is that we live in a world that throws all kinds of strife at us. We work hard to get around these problems; but the truth is we are not perfect and we therefore are destined to fall short. We need some kind of advantage; some kind of helper who has a better scope of understanding in life. That, to me as a Christian... is Jesus. He's there... always, ready to help. Jesus, being God incarnate... knows us completely, better than we know ourselves. Who is there, better than he to stand beside us in our troubles?

Here are some ways in which he helps me:

What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 8:31-39

For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. - Hebrews 2:17,18

Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." - Matthew 28:18-20

I am sure most of you have heard or read it... but there is also a famous poem that describes the kind of support Jesus gives through the Holy Spirit:

"Footprints in the Sand"
One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the LORD. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand;one belonged to him, and the other to the LORD.When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in his life.This really bothered him and he questioned the LORD about it. "LORD, you said that once I decided to follow you, you'd walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints. I don't understand why when I needed you most you would leave me."The LORD replied, "My precious, precious child, I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you."

So, what will you choose?

Jesus stands waiting for all to call on him for his help.
Will you leave him outside... knocking on the door?

Will you not recognise him as your friend... and shoot him down thinking him a threat?

Or will you take that chance and accept the hand of eternal friendship that is held out to you.
The choice is yours... make it a wise one.

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