Mark 1: 1-14
January 7, 2018
Star Trek is a television and movie phenomenon with second chances woven into its fabric from the very beginning and throughout its many incarnations. It was the first show in television history to have its pilot episode rejected and then a second pilot commissioned. Much of the original cast was replaced with other characters. Even the now beloved Mr. Spock was thought of as too inhuman, his character not very likable, and was almost dropped but for Gene Roddenberry insisting that Spock was the very likeness of what Star Trek is all about: exploration of the unknown.
The episode “The Naked Time” occurs early in the first season. In the trailer we saw the effects of a virus communicated through water and sweat: revealing hidden fears, weaknesses, vulnerabilities, and fantasies of the ship’s officers and crew. In his fear a junior officer asks a question that some still ask today: Why are we out here, anyway? We have no business out here. We bring pain and trouble with us. Going boldly into space and into this world means we take these very human parts of us with us, risking as we go. Going boldly means we can’t hold these hidden aspects of ourselves against each other if we’re going to survive and explore the unknown. Going boldly means second chance after second chance.
For John the Baptist, going boldly meant making that way in the wilderness with his voice and his passion, “proclaiming a baptism of the heart’s transformation, for forgiveness of sins”. With his clothing of camel’s hair and leather belt, eating wild locusts and honey, he would have fit right in on this Star Trek episode, except John’s wildness was caused not by a virus but by the Holy Spirit and the conviction of his beliefs, his prophetic voice overwhelming any need for propriety.
|John and Jesus they were not.|