Monday, 17 December 2012

something not so special 
Have you heard of the Star Wars Holiday Special?  Don’t be ashamed if you haven’t, it’s a rare beast.  Several years ago my delightfully geeky husband found out about it and bought a DVD copy that someone had burned off an old VCR recording of the TV broadcast.  It wasn’t great quality but the quality of the production itself was even worse.  In fact it was sooooo bad that we couldn’t watch it all the way through.  We only made it to the end because we fast forwarded through much of it.  It was pretty much the worst TV I’ve ever seen and most geeks on the internet would agree. it’s the story of Chewbacca and his family Christmas which isn’t Christmas at all, its happy earth day or something.  Songs, dances and general Christmas cheer abound.  Even Princess Leia joins in one of the musical numbers!  It’s really boring; like your average bad Christmas special.  Not really news at all.  But what’s interesting about it is that it seems that George Lucas went to some pains to make sure that it was never heard of again. it hadn’t been for the invention of the VCR recorder, the internet and someone’s good fortune at keeping their recording and then distributing it on the internet, it would have disappeared for good; securing George Lucas’s legendary reputation (let's not mention episodes 1-3 for the moment).  Sadly for George the internet exposes all shameful secrets/Christmas specials for all time.

This makes it all the more fascinating to me that the Bible is not like that.  In fact it seems almost the opposite.  The writers of the Bible seem to go out of their way to expose their weaknesses rather than cover them up.  If you read the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) the disciples shamelessly portray themselves as bumbling idiots who don’t get it and you think “you guys are so stupid.”  This is remarkable because the natural human instinct is to be like George Lucas; to hide our mistakes, to hope that no one will ever find them.  But the Biblical writers in contrast seem so eager to let us to know their mistakes, their sin and unbelief.  Why?  Because they realize that their stories are not about them and their reputation; but about the man who invaded their lives and covered their shame with His blood.  Their sin highlights His grace; their weakness highlights His strength; their faithlessness highlights His faithfulness to them. 
Our lives are just one big Star Wars Christmas special but we can be comforted that our sin, our shame, our foolishness are covered by Christ’s blood.  The security this gives us will cause us to be like the disciples; free to let go of our own reputation and cling to Jesus’ work for us. Colossians 3 –our lives are hidden with Christ on high.

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