Time Travel is Good For You!
Article for church newsletter, 15.05.11
By the time this is printed out on paper and passed around the congregation a TV event that I have been looking forward to with great anticipation will have passed; a coming together of two great delights Doctor Who and Neil Gaiman! I suspect that you all will know of Doctor Who, but maybe not Neil Gaiman; he’s the quirky ‘cult’ writer of modern urban fantasies such as Coraline, Neverwhere and American Gods. Every now and then Doctor Who has a guest script writer, and the episode ‘The Doctor’s Wife’ (now that’s a provocative title) is his.
Of course time travel is the stuff of stories. It isn’t really possible to move across time and space in a blue police box …or is it? According to the BBC news website, ‘The South Pacific island nation of Samoa is to jump forward in time by one day in order to boost its economy.’ No, they’ve not hitched a lift with some time travelling space ship like Arthur Dent in Douglas Adam’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, but are switching time zone so that whilst at present, Samoa is 21 hours behind Sydney from 29 December it will be three hours ahead.
Why are they undertaking this dramatic change which will undoubtedly cause some confusion and expense? Economic advantage; Samoa’s main trade partners are New Zealand and Australia, however, at present they lose out on two potential days of trade with them as their weekends don’t correspond. Their Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi explains, ‘While it’s Friday here, it’s Saturday in New Zealand and when we’re at church Sunday, they’re already conducting business in Sydney and Brisbane.’
The Bible calls us as Christians to undertake a similar adjustment. This is what the book of Romans is all about. One day God will restore Creation as his kingdom comes upon the earth fully. This is the event that the whole of the Bible is working towards, the renewal of the spoilt creation of Genesis 1. The life of that time will be life as it’s meant to be, life to the full. The good news of the Gospel is that through faith in Jesus we can know that we shall be part of that future. This is our inheritance as God’s adopted children. The choice now is ours, which time zone do we live in, which lifestyle do we follow, that of our present or our future?