For several weeks now, I have been wanting to go see the new Star Trek film. It is the 12th film in the series and follows the last movie made back in 2009. So, finally, Janet and I decided to go see the movie this afternoon at a local theatre. I admit that I was exhausted and probably not in the right frame of mind to sit in a theatre for several hours; in fact I think that I would have preferred to take a nap… And that’s difficult for me to admit, seeing as how I am an avid Star Trek fan – not the Next Generation, mind you, but the original one from ’66-’69. Those were the good old days, for sure.
This evening, after leaving the theatre, Janet and I went to pick up take-out from one of our favorite restaurants and the manager on duty started talking about Star Trek. Now he wasn’t even around in the sixties – a phenomenon I am seeing more often than not when people start talking about the series. He talked about all the characters and the names of the episodes, but he wasn’t born when the show came out. I was impressed with his knowledge, but you could tell it was from watching old shows, and that’s much different that remembering all the other things that happened in life around the same. But it couldn’t help bring back memories of when the show started. Our family lived in Beverly Hills on the south side of Chicago and we had one Magnavox television set – black and white – no color tv in our house back in those days.
It was one of those rather large cabinet televisions on small wheels that we kept along the wall in the dining room. When we wanted to watch a show, we had to wheel it around the corner into the living room. After all, we didn’t have a family room and the place was so small that the TV couldn’t stay out in the room. And at Christmas it was even worse, because the tree went in that corner of the room and you couldn’t see the picture through the pine needles. Somehow, though, it all worked… On a side note, I remember when Dad got Mom a small color TV to ge in the master bedroom. I don’t recall that it had a remote control, but that didn’t make any difference to us, we just thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread.
But Grandpa had a color set – with a remote control and everything. It was a real treat to watch Ed Sullivan and The Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday evenings after dinner at his house. I don’t think I ever saw the Star Trek series at Grandpa’s though, so all I remember is the series in black and white. I even remember the pilot before it was decided if the series was actually going to air or not.
So today, as with all the Star Trek franchise movies, I was expecting big things. Maybe I am missing something, but I really didn’t think the movie was appropriately named. “Into Darkness” just didn’t do it for me. All I could think of was lost people. You know, people who don’t believe in Jesus, meaning that they aren’t “saved” and that means that they live in darkness. The Bible is quite clear on this point. Jesus is light and desires that we walk in the light – everything else is darkness. And that means eternal separation from God.
The book of 1 John probably does the best job of explaining this idea of walking in the light and how it differs from the darkness. We are told, in 1 John 1:5-6, “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.” This book, 1 John, is pretty tough on people who walk in the dark. These two verses are some of the most direct contrasts in the Bible when referencing truth and having a relationship with God. My encouragement this evening is that God wants you to walk in the light – not “into darkness.” My prayer is that you will realize that the light of God shines bright – brighter than you can imagine. And when light shines that bright, darkness can’t exist – the shadows disappear and we have a greater chance of walking in the light – the impact of Jesus on our lives. So, regardless of whether you are a Trekkie or not, God wants you to come to Him. You might want to bring your sunglasses – it’s pretty bright there! Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…