Monday, 1 September 2014

The Meaning of Life

Recently, I went to a movie at the theater called “Lucy”.

It didn’t get high reviews and those who attended it either hated it and walked out or, like me,  loved it and found themselves inspired by it and thinking about it long after it was over. 

I would suggest that the visuals alone are worth the price of admission.
The movie is about “Lucy” ( played by Scarlet Johansen), a young woman who gets trapped into being a drug mule. 

When the drugs break open in her stomach, she begins to access more and more of her brain capabilities. ( science tells us that at present, most of us access only about 20%). We then begin to see what our future as a species might look like.

As the movie progresses, Lucy raises the question to a professor (played by Morgan Freeman) about the: 

“meaning of life”.

This question is on a different level from the ones I usually ask families of loved ones who have died:
"What gave meaning to their lives?”  

There is a wide variety of potential answers to that one, even if  “relationships” and “family” are the most common response.

In the movie, Lucy’s question is more about the purpose of human life as a whole and of the Universe itself. 

Because she had a limited life span, Lucy wanted to make her life count in a way that resonated with the big plan.

Christian fundamentalism really began in part as a reaction to Darwin and the idea of evolution and as a defense of the Biblical account of creation and the nature of the Bible itself as divinely inspired.  

Most Biblical scholars today don’t see the conflict between the Genesis story and scientific or history.

In fact, more and more theologians are embracing the general thrust of evolution and theories like the big bang and seeing the hand of God in the process.

The movie suggests that the evolution of knowledge that develops and is passed on from generation to generation is the meaning of life.

I would like to suggest that that notion is only part of the answer. Evolution is happening on all kinds of ways; not just of knowledge.

Evolution seems to have a direction and a Director, and religious people have a part to play in the area of love and social relationships.

Christians call social evolution towards peace based on justice

“the Kingdom of God.”

So…. maybe for Christians, our mission and ministry is about  personal and social transformation; seeking God’s vision for creation.

If we spend our short span of life seeking those things, maybe we can resonate with Creator and creation instead of fighting against them. We can die knowing that our lives had meaning because we participated in an evolutionary process that was going on since the Big Bang and will continue long after we are gone. We are part of something much bigger than ourselves.

Rev. Phillip

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