Sunday, 20 February 2011

What Really Counts

"Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired,
but you have prepared a body for me....

I have come to do your will, o God,
as is written of me,
in the volume of the book".

Hebrews 10:5-7.

"We know that if this present body is destroyed,
we have a permanent body from God,
eternal, and from heaven,
and for this new body, we yearn,
that we might be truly clothed,
when mortality is swallowed, not by death,
but by everlasting life".

2 Corinthians 5:1-4.

I finally managed to get to see the final episodes of the short-lived but so wonderfully crafted TV series, Caprica, this week, and was certainly not disappointed. With true finesse, Ronald D Moore and his team lead us towards a sadly all-too-fast conclusion that marries so well into the prior splendor of the tale of (the re-imagined) Battlestar Galactica. I can only hope that future plans for yet another show (entitled Blood and Chrome) in the genre, come to fruition this year, and that this proves to be as engaging as it's prior stellar renditions.

What was so engaging about Caprica, particularly towards the end, was the issue of life and death, and life beyond death. A holographic 'heaven' is devised and offered by one sect of the monotheists for her martyrs, but the heroine, Zoe, who listens to the angels, knows this is wrong, so as her parents struggle to free her from cyber-space by devising a way for her to become human - to have a body - once again, she confronts the leader of this 'bodiless' contrivance of heaven in V-world and judges her and her creation as wrong - godless, because it denies the realities we all must face, and the hopes beyond these.

I could not help but consider the manner in which such issues impact upon us all.
Everything we know, we experience, is communicated to us through the means of our bodies.
If, at some point in our near future, we encounter the manner of virtual realms available in this show, these also will be possible via a connection to our physical selves. All of life, and the agony of death, occurs this way. The eternal order, as C S Lewis once noted, is about things being far more 'real', far more substantial, than we can see or understand in a our present, impoverished physicality, but it would be foolhardy to conclude then, that the physical is somehow a merely provisional or temporary situation... a 'make do' until the 'better' of incorporeal immortality arrives... that, like the faith of the errant monotheists in Caprica, is a surrender to Gnosticism.

The Scriptures tell us that the physical is good - very good, and even more important, made Holy (sanctified) by God Himself on the 7th day. We were made bodily, and Christ (as the Hebrews reference above shows) became so to redeem the heavens and the earth. This is why Paul teaches us that our future hope is encapsulated in our gaining a new body in the resurrection, for like Zoe trapped in V-world, we indeed see, as Paul states, that creation itself currently yearns for release from corruption and decay into its proper (original/renewed) glory. Only then can the true and full significance of the physical begin to be really seen, considered and enjoyed.

Caprica ends looking at the ramifications of seeking to work out the results of actual resurrection in a fallen world (the overture of war), and that also echoes so much of our current reality.

As I've noted so many times here, we truly need to think well on these matters... they bear on the deepest realities for us all.

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