Archive for April, 2009

Battlestar Galactica – a few thoughts

Battlestar Galactica

I finally got around to watching the last of the show. I had given up a bunch of entertainment stuff during Lent so I had to wait until Easter Sunday before I could resume watching the show.

This show has been one of the most interesting shows I’ve seen in a while, if not ever. Unlike Lost, this one ended while it was still good. However like Lost it was very character driven, and riddled with mystery, and of course every turn in the plot was one that you didnt see coming.

Well, that’s not completely true. I think the writers would pick your most dreaded course and go for it. However when the show ended you are left with a bitter satisfaction

If you followed the series from the beginning the characters you hated you loved at the end. Take for instance Gaius Baltar . This guy was a sniveling weasel of a character at the beginning. But his evolution was amazing to watch. Of course he stayed self centered most of the time. I absolutely loved the irony in that he and Caprica Six , who were responsible for the destruction of Caprica, were the saviors in the end.

What struck me hard was the way the show ended. When you really think about it, it really couldnt have ended any other way. Anything else would have felt incomplete.

The journey of humanity through space in derelict spacecraft, living in fear and poverty, sickness and death, greed and loneliness, would end on another planet they would call Earth.

At one point in their sojourn they had stopped on a livable planet and tried to start a civilization reminiscent of Caprica, they even called it New Caprica . This turned out to be a huge mistake and they were almost destroyed in the process.

On Earth (150,000 years ago), they would abandon everything and start over as farmers. They settled around the planet in colonies and distributed their supplies evenly among themselves.

This is a very thought provoking picture for me. As I walk outside and look around my yard I wonder how it would be to abandon everything and start over with nothing.

Honestly I know there would be lots of things I would miss initially, perhaps computers, AC, iPods, my electric guitar and amp and effects. I would miss being able to watch sci-fi shows on tv or the movies, and being able to drive where ever I wanted to go in my truck.

And I wonder if our economy ever crashed totally, or if China or Russia or some terrorist were to take down our electrical grid, or if for some reason our standard of living were to somehow be reduced to that of a third world country or worse, how would I take it? How would I react? How would I live?

Somehow I dont think our Quality of Life is dependent on our Standard of Living. What a joy it would be to have dinner with my family everyday, to not have all the distractions of cell phones and emails, and text messages.

This coming from a guy who is constantly looking at his phone, checking texts and Facebook, and Tweeting on Twitter. A guy who loves electric guitars and all the myriads of effects. A guy who loves the internet as an instant portal into peoples thoughts and lives around the world.

Dont get me wrong, I love life as it is. But I wonder if it will keep going on like it is. I wonder if there will ever be a “reset ” button that will be pushed. Would we welcome the chance to start our world anew? What foundations would you lay that would be different? Would you enjoy the wind and the rain?

I really dont do justice to the show and it’s ending and the thoughts going through my mind. I’m sad to see it end, but it’s a bitter sweet closing. I dont expect to see another show like it again.


Have a Missional Easter!

Easter is all about the resurrection of Jesus.  Easter is the greatest holiday of the Christian year.  It is the single most important event in history.  But because of our culture and some of our traditions, this fact has often obstructed me from seeing Easter as the greatest day of the year.

However once I learned that many of our traditions, The Easter Bunny, and Easter Egg, even wearing new white clothes, were actually at one time symbols of the new life in Christ and the Resurrection, then my eyes were more clearly able to focus on Jesus and his mission.

Let me explain, but first a bit of history.

The Easter Hare first appears in history in the 1500’s in Germany.  Painted eggs were first recorded in the 13th century, also around Germany.  Cultures around the world and throughout history have always been excited to celebrate the new life of Springtime.  Many have used these and similar symbols in artistic ways to show their love for life.

In the 6th century Pope Gregory the Great (540-604) sent missionaries into northern Europe and the British Isles who were trained to find cultural symbols and traditions that could be used in preaching the gospel and thus winning the lost.  He wrote, “Since the people are accustomed, when they assemble for sacrifice, to kill many oxen in sacrifice to the devils, it seems reasonable to appoint a festival for the people by way of exchange. The people must learn to slay their cattle not in honor of the devil, but in honor of God and for their own food…”

In a sense this is what we do today.  We have taken guitars, drums, and keyboards, that have been used to glorify man and sin, and we use them as vehicles of worship to glorify God.  Not only has God redeemed instruments but you and I.  Don’t forget that we were once lost.  We were once self serving, self pleasing, and by doing so we were serving Satan, God’s enemy, and destined for wrath.  God is in the redeeming business.

And to early cultures that were more in tune with nature and the seasons, eggs and hares were symbols of joy and life.  They were symbols that represented Winter was over, the sun was out, trees were budding, grass was growing, flowers blooming, the earth was being warmed and life was everywhere.  Naturally missionaries saw these symbols and festivals that coincided with the Christian Passover and adapted them in order to relate more fully to the cultures around them.  It’s almost as if God had ingrained those ancient cultures with seeds of the Gospel.

Of course these symbols have lost their meaning to us today because of historical and cultural differences in with they were first used, and today’s marketing ploys.  And although these symbols and traditions may not speak to us today of the Gospel or the Resurrection, we can see them as remnants of efforts to reach the lost.  Relics of the past, tools that were once used to reach people right where they were, stuck in their ways, stuck in their culture, stuck in their sin, serving themselves and Satan.

They can remind us to look for ways to relate, seeds of the Gospel, that have been planted beforehand in peoples lives.  Perhaps you know someone who engages in humanitarian work but doesn’t know Jesus.  And while many people do good for selfish reasons, at least part of this desire, even if it gets distorted, comes from God.  It’s not just bad situations that God uses to reach people.  My own testimony proves this.

In a time when evangelism is at record low, and we have silly examples of Christians on tv sitting in huge gold chairs, or that our greatest aspiration is to join the bless me club.  The lost see that stuff and think if Jesus could see that he’d roll over in his grave.  We need a fresh wave of missionaries, we need both you and I to go out and bring the Gospel to work, to our home, to school, the gym, our neighborhood, even the grocery store and the mall.  We are never on vacation.  Satan never takes a break.  The only break he took is when Jesus broke his skull with his foot, by going to the cross.

I want to encourage you to live as though you have a purpose, live as though you are here for a reason, not just to go to work and make a living, and raise a family.  Those are all awesome and fulfilling things in themselves.  But there’s more.

Live with your eyes open and aware, you might just find an Easter Egg