The first episode of the new series of Doctor Who aired in the UK and the US on Saturday evening (in their respective time zones). The ABC will broadcast it next Saturday, but those with a little technology know-how can download it from the internet. That means our family watched it Sunday afternoon.
The story is set in the U.S. and concerns some new aliens who have been inhabiting tunnels around the world for centuries. They are about to come out and take over. Standard Dr Who fare, but this one has a nice twist- people who see them immediately forget they have seen them as soon as they turn away.
That got me to thinking.
As christians we know lots of things:
- We have been forgiven by grace
- Jesus died for our sins
- We are part of a kingdom that is not of this world
- We are to live by faith not by sight
- The Holy Spirit lives in us and can act in the lives of others through us
And many more...
Any one of us can expound these things readily on Sunday morning or at our small groups.
But as soon as we leave these places, when we return to the world that seems more real, we forget.
That's why every Sunday we have to re-live the story of redemption in Holy Communion.
That's why preachers have to keep returning to the same old message of salvation.
That's why so few of us can move on from the "milk" to the "meat" of faith.
It's not that we are stupid- we just forget.
In the Dr Who story, Amy takes a photo of the monster on her phone. The story continues to a second episode, but we can know that the photo will be a part of the victory. At some stage she will take the phone out of her pocket and see the monster.
That is how we remember. At some stage in our life we take hold of a small representation of what we have seen in church, in our group or in our reading of the Bible and we will use it. Perhaps a prayer for someone who is ill, maybe a promise we read in scripture, or a spiritual gift we didn't know we had.
Suddenly we get a glimpse of a previously unseen reality and turn to God in faith.
And we grow one small step closer to God.