Millions of miles away, on the reddest planet of our solar system, an ingenious invention we know as The Mars Rover is about ready to go looking for clues to the origins of life.
Let’s suppose that Curiosity’s quasi-scientific/religious mission suddenly becomes wildly successful. Red Rover starts sending back pictures of heat and cold resistant cockroaches, mysterious butterflies and enormous redwoods growing in the highlands of Gale Crater.
Some will conclude that now, for sure we know life needs no God. Others will celebrate a Creator whose fingerprints have been found on another planet. Still others will feel confirmed in their suspicion that unknown space travelers have been at work on Mars as they have on Earth.
Even if the Rover finds a book written in one of earth’s languages and claiming that giant Preying Mantises visited and created life on Mars billions of years ago, the book and its words probably would be accepted by some as truth, rejected by others as lies, and explained by still others as well crafted misinformation.
By itself, no claim or event means anything, apart from an understanding of the story behind it.
That’s why we keep talking about why it is so important to read and reflect on any and every part of the Bible in light of the story behind it. Any word or sentence read by itself can be hijacked from it’s role in supporting the unfolding drama that climaxes in Jesus’ death on a Roman Cross and his bodily return three days later from a borrowed, government sealed, and heavily guarded tomb.
Sooner or later its also important to begin reading the eyewitness accounts of Jesus death and resurrection in light of everything between Genesis 1:1 and Revelation 22:21.
Jesus’ death and resurrection are the events that support and are supported by every detail, character, plot and subplot that we find in the New and Old Testaments. These events fulfill and give meaning and proportional importance to the rest of the story (of the Bible and our lives). This is the focus that supports and gives reason for our shared faith, hope and love. These are the attitudes of heart that find their ultimate source in the Creator, Savior, Lord, and loving Judge of our souls.
If we don’t come together around him, healthy conversation about anything within the covers of the Bible, or about anything in the world around us can turn into an argument.
By the chemistry of creative assumptions we can use our imagination make anything mean anything—until the howling hound of reality catches up with us.