Monday, January 29, 2007

Indiana Jones & Talking to God

"Today we have seen that a man can live even if God speaks with him." (Deuteronomy 5:24b)

In our world, the idea of the holy, the sacred, the so-very-special-that-you-have-to-be-careful-talking-about-it-or-holding it seems foreign.

We talk about EVERYTHING.

To some extent, that openness can be positive. (Someone said that sunlight is the best cleanser, especially when it comes to things like government [or church?]). And so democracy and capitalism have combined to create a culture where everything is open, and, ideally, nothing is hidden. Our entertainment and our information thrive on this concept.

But this openness often leads to casualness with things we ought to take more seriously.

Have you ever seen the Indiana Jones Trilogy? In various scenes of various movies, Indiana is searching for and dealing with things that are more powerful than anyone realizes. In the first movie, it's the Ark of the Covenant. In the third it's the Holy Grail.

We see the power of belief and the understanding of the sacredness of the objects expressed in these 2 stories.

While searching for the Grail, Indiana comes in contact with people who have vowed to protect it, and keep it from falling into the hands of mere profit seekers.

Throughout the journey, Indiana is reminded by his father what a special truth is symbolized by the Grail, (it is believed to be the cup Christ drank from), and that it is not something to be handled carelessly.

In the first movie, some who approached the Ark of the Covenant cavalierly, soon regret it. They open the top, an indescribable light and power explodes out of the box, and all who are looking at it are incinerated. We learn that such sacred things are too powerful or holy for us to toy with.

This is a LITTLE like the way the Hebrews in the Old Testament must have approached God, the Tabernacle, and the sacred objects which were a part of their worship.

They knew that there were particular places they were not to go. They knew there were particular things they were not to do. And they knew that crossing those lines entailed a significant, even fatal, cost.

In the midst of that environment, (Deuteronomy 5:7-21 is the 10 Commandments; the "Thou shall not's"), the people are reminded that there is a balance to be struck.

Yes, God is holy. Yes, His word is to be taken seriously. No, one does not handle the holy things without great care. However...

In seeing Moses speak face to face with God, and in hearing Moses bring God's word back to them, they had learned "that a man can live even if God speaks with him."

May God help us to find that sense of balance between the holy, all-powerful God, and the relationship He seeks to bring close to us.

No comments: