The Oasis - April 24, 2019
Author: Rev. Dan Hollis
April 24, 2019
April 24, 2019
by Pastor Dan Hollis
There’s a movie I loved when I was young called “Titan A.E.” It told the story of the human race after our planet was destroyed and we were left to wander the stars without a home, trying to scrape out a life among the countless alien species who all had homes to call their own. It was the first time I had ever recognized being exposed to the idea of a life without purpose. A life adrift.
In the movie, set 15 years After Earth (hence “A.E.”), the humans have no identity. They are nomads, without anything binding them together, each individual scraping out whatever existence they can doing the odd and often dangerous jobs nobody else wants to do. They are a people without a purpose. Without a people, really. And it isn’t until someone swoops in and shows them what it means to have a purpose again that any of the human characters in the movie realize there can actually be something After Earth. Something worth striving for. Something to give their lives meaning. A path, out there in the stars, leading to new life, and a new home.
In church we spend so much time and effort building up to Easter—following Jesus’ footsteps, retelling the story of the last days of Jesus’ mortal life, and making a holiday of the day he rose from the dead. We do the same kind of thing for Christmas… but it’s never just about those days, is it? Easter in a vacuum is just a day of bunnies and candy. Christmas in a vacuum is just a day of presents, dinners, peace on Earth, and goodwill toward men. Just one day.
Really what these celebrations point us toward is what comesafter. After the birth. After the Resurrection. After Easter.
After Earth the human race was lost, purposeless, and without hope. They didn’t recognize the promise of new life waiting for them out in the stars. After Easter the disciples were lost, purposeless, and without hope. They had built up this idea of what Jesus would do and what their lives would look like, and when everything seemed to fall apart, they had nothing to hang onto. Some took to wandering, some hung out in the local dive bars, and some went off doing odd and often dangerous jobs nobody else wanted to do.
It took Jesus swooping in again (and then the Holy Spirit after that ) to remind them what it meant to have purpose. It took Jesus to point them again toward the map he had been sketching out for them with every parable, every act of healing, and every inspiring word.
When things in our lives seem to be falling apart, and the idea of what our lives will look like takes a hard left turn… we can be like the disciples and give up. We can be like the main character in Titan A.E. and bury our heads in the sand, so sure that a life rudderless is all we have to look forward to. Or we can open our hearts to the promise of new life waiting for us out there in the stars. We can open our hearts to the truth that purpose and meaning is still there for us to find. And we can open our hearts to the Risen Jesus, who swoops in every day to remind us just what’s in store.
“But there are also many other things that Jesus did; if every one of them were written down, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” John 21:25
Song that was in all the trailers for Titan A.E. back in 2000: “Higher,” by Creed.