Sunday, December 25, 2011
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (Luke 2:8-14)
I was flipping through a notebook the other day and came across something I wrote who knows how long ago – I have had the notebook since college, I think. At any rate, I decided it would be an appropriate Christmas thought since this blog does, after all, purport to be science fiction-related…
I wish you all a Blessed and Geeky Christmas.
~The Geeky Squirrel
Lights in the sky. Floating , weaving, hovering. One, then many – UFO's. Little green men, or gray men, or not men, really, but humans cope by likening the unknown to the known.
Hermit in the desert. Dirty, unkempt, unshaven. Alone, outcast, living in his shabby trailer. No contact with others, much, because they shun him, mostly.
Crazy, they say. Sees things – lights in the sky, little green men, UFO's, and all. Living alone in the middle of nowhere does things to your mind. Why should anyone listen to him? Most don't.
But I'm not crazy! he declares. Listen to me, I know what I saw! Come out and see, maybe they'll return. Don't you know that the truth is out there?
Still they shake their heads, still they laugh, still they pity.
Lights in the sky. Floating, weaving, hovering. One, then many – angels. Bright, white, blinding men, men with wings, heavenly beings, not even men, but humans cope by likening the unknown to the known.
Shepherds in the hills. Dirty, unkempt, unshaven. Alone, outcast, living out with the sheep in their care. Not much contact with anyone other than each other and their animals, because they are shunned, mostly.
Crazy, they say. Seeing things – angels and all. Having no one to talk to but sheep gets to you eventually. Why should anyone listen? Many still won't.
But we're not crazy! they shout. Right where they said, down there in the stable. There in Bethlehem, go see for yourself. A baby in a manger, don't you believe?
Still they shake their heads, still they laugh, still they ignore.
Still He opens his arms, still He welcomes, still He waits, still He smiles at those who do believe.
Sunday, December 18, 2011
And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:7)
In addition to being a great writer and linguist, J.R.R. Tolkien was a master poet as well, and one of my favorite poems in the entire Lord of the Rings saga is the one that tells about the true identity of Strider the Ranger:
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken:
The crownless again shall be king.
The point of the poem is that appearances can be deceiving – Strider is really Aragorn, lord of the Dunedain and heir to the throne of Gondor. When he sets out from Rivendell with the Fellowship, he has another mission in addition to that of protecting the ringbearer on the way to Mount Doom: to help Gondor in its time of need as it battles against the forces of Sauron and to reclaim the throne of his ancestors. Despite his actual status, however, he is careful to conceal his true identity until the moment is right.
Christmas is a time when we focus on the deceiving appearance of the Messiah when he came to earth in human form. He was the Son of God, yet his earthly father was just a carpenter. His birth occurred not in a palace, but in a stable, surrounded by animals, and his first crib was their feed trough. He was not the great king and military leader that the Jews looked for to conquer the Romans and restore a kingdom like that over which David ruled, yet he saved all people everywhere from something much worse by sacrificing himself for our sins.
This Christmas season, may we remember that "All that is gold does not glitter" and instead, look for the miraculous in the ordinary. May God surprise us in unlooked for places as we celebrate the coming of the Crownless King.
Sunday, December 11, 2011
For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
The Doctor loves humans. He takes them traveling in the TARDIS. They visit alien worlds and battle fantastic creatures, but he always ends up back on earth, fighting to save earth's people from an alien menace or even from themselves. He laments the fact that they're stupid apes with such narrow worldviews and selfish attitudes, but he always helps them out of whatever predicament they've gotten into. He loves them and would risk his own life to protect them – not just his companions but all of them.
Jesus loves humans. He took human form and lived among them. He took them into his inner circle and traveled with them as he preached his message of love and peace. He laments the fact that sometimes they just don't listen, they just don't get it, but he patiently explains again, using smaller words or a different story. He loves them so much that he sacrificed himself and took the blame for their misdeeds even though he himself was blameless.
Praise the Great Physician, who loved humans so much that he gave up absolutely everything to get them out of the worst scrape imaginable!
Monday, December 5, 2011
Ask, and it will be given you; search and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. (Matthew 7:7-8)
It being that time of year and all, I heard a rendition of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" which reminded me of a scene from the first episode of Doctor Who that featured the Eleventh Doctor. Right after the opening credits, we meet Amelia Pond, the little girl who will grow up to be this Doctor's companion. She is kneeling by her bed, hands pressed together in front of her, eyes closed, saying her prayers. Or is she? "Dear Santa Claus," she starts. She thanks him for some toys, presumably her Christmas presents, and then proceeds to ask him for help with a problem she's having.
I think I might as well start my prayers with "Dear Santa Claus" sometimes, because it becomes all about me and the wish list of things I want. Don't get me wrong, I think God wants us to ask him for things – that is, after all, what Jesus told everyone in the Sermon on the Mount. That's not the only purpose of prayer, though. It is supposed to be two-way communication, but more often than not I am guilty of making it all about me sitting on God's lap and telling him everything I want for Christmas.
My wish for this Advent season is that we focus not on our letters to Santa-God but rather on the gift that is more important than anything we'll ever find in our stockings. The hope, peace, joy, and love embodied in the baby in the manger are the best gifts of all.