Friday, 8 December 2017

Reaching beyond the memories

"Memories... you're talking about memories".
Dekkard - Blade Runner.

"When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature 
of all flesh that is on the earth".
Genesis 9:6.

Isn't it strange - particularly as we get older - how the past can have such a hold on us. We recall moments, places and especially loved ones with deep affection and often a longing for 'such times' once more. Strange, perhaps, because we know those moments are gone, and yet, something about them still holds us, even defines something of who and what we are.

Recently, I began to realize that they matter because they're actually part of the miracle that is life.

Some of you might recall my recent posting which touched on, what was for me the unequalled cinematic masterpiece this year - Blade Runner 2049. The original Blade Runner movie raised questions about what makes us human, seeking to explore our relationship to how memories often shape us, comfort us, but the new film goes much deeper - a scene in the film's opening section leading to a very different resolution for this story's detective, revolving around the fact that what truly makes "us" distinct and human is no less than a miracle. 

Underpinning all our moments here, we are, on occasion, truly aware that there is more going on. We know, deep inside ourselves, that what we experience and encounter resonates with the truth that we have meaning and value, and when we recall moments which enriched us, we often "hear" and know something of that truth afresh - that's why certain memories are so palpable and so defining.

Christmas is a time when we can choose to participate in what we could think of as a 'collective' memory of a piece of human history that truly defines the term 'miracle'.  Most of us know what the festival is supposed to be about, but we can perhaps forget how it ties in to a much bigger picture of God's relationship to us.

The verse I've quoted above is part of what happens after the flood. Noah has re-committed life to the Lord who has rescued them, and God responds by stating that from now on, there's going to be an ongoing reminder - the rainbow - of this key moment when heaven and earth are re-united by confidence in the mercy and goodness of God.

Notice how God uses this moment as a marker, not only to us, but to Himself, that a moment has been reached where God and humanity will commence life in a new relationship - the bow of heaven reminds us, and God, of this.

Advent is that moment writ large forever.

One of the most gorgeous moments in the new Blade Runner movie is set in the midst of the arrival of snow. It's a moment filled with pain and difficulty, but it's also the dawning of a day of assurance, joy and affection, because everything has changed.

Memories tell us that amongst the trauma, there is something precious to be known. Miracles tell us what is profoundly true about this life, and that is what makes it worthwhile.

God, in Christ, is the promise-keeper, changing this realm by the miracle of His being with us.

Let's recall that goodness in this special season.

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