The Christmas Message in "The Obsolete Man"
Of course, today we celebrate Christmas. Of course, we understand we celebrate the coming of a savior in Jesus Christ. We also know that he came to become one of us in all things but sin. In doing so, he redeemed us body and soul. This, of course, is the point of Christmas. However, what did he save us from?
Many will tell you that he saved us from Hell, but more importantly he came to lead us to Heaven which is by default what happens when we are saved from Hell.
There seems to be a disconnect between Christmas and life on Earth. Unfortunately, there is a powerful connection between the two.
One of the most powerful television series in history is, of course, the Twilight Zone. Unfortunately, no one has been able to duplicate well the work of Rod Serling and maybe one reason is that the shows came from the soul of Rod Serling. If you really watch them, you will notice that there is a deep philosophical bent to them. They speak not of strange tales, but strange tales caused by worst case scenario imagined of a humanity that lost its way.
The doll is not only saying bad things, it is also a psychopathic killer.
The children disappeared into the swimming pool because they found a caring family in the twilight zone who can only be found through the bottom of the pool. That episode by the way was the last and was written by Earl Hamner who would later become famous as the creator of the Waltons.
And of course, To Serve Man was not about how to make human beings experience a socialist paradise.
However, this week, I watched one of my favorites: The Obsolete Man that really featured from what we will be saved.
If you know the story it features Burgess Meredith who would later become famous as Batman’s the Penguin. As he often played in the series, he was a bookworm and in this episode was condemned to death because books had become obsolete. The most important book to become obsolete was the Bible. That is because according to Fritz Weaver as the Chancellor the state proved there is no God.
The state therefore becomes the tyrannical god.
William Golding reveals a society in the situation of shipwrecked students of a military school who themselves become an evil tyranny. The twentieth century revealed a series of tyrannical empires rooted in the foundational principle that there is no God. The message is clear, if we eliminate God from our society, we seem to have a natural inclination toward tyranny. Technology that was supposed to glorify human beings their achievements has become its own source of control over us.
Even our media has become a source of tyranny. Notice how many times the media conservative or liberal tells you how you are supposed to think. Hence why the media I watch is well to the fringe of mainstream media.
This leads us to the true meaning of Christmas. I always teach that our faith is about anthropology—teaching who we truly are as human beings. If we want a true view we need only to look what happens when we reject God and embrace ourselves as the gods we then claim to be by default. It never looks pretty.
Christ came to save us from the Hell we will create because of our fallen nature. Exorcists tell me that forces they cast out tell them that Hell is their creation after being excluded from the Kingdom.
Now we reverse it. What is our life with Christ all about?
It is all about seeking enlightenment in Christ. The devil promised Eve that they would be like gods. He was right, they would be like tyrannical gods whereas Christ promised us that we would be divinized to become friends of god on an equal level. St. Paul says that we are destined to judge nations.
Christmas is not about peace, about getting along for the day. It is about learning that we need a savior to become what we were created to be. This is the message of the prologue of John.
In the prologue we learn of darkness and light. Well what is darkness. The absence of light. Christ is the light.
We become children of light who have a mission to shine into the darkness. What happens when we reject the light, we walk into the darkness that become unbridled in ourselves and are consumed by it.
This is the meaning of Christmas, Jesus came to be the light, to free us from the darkness that seeks to envelope us, overcome, and destroy us. It does it by leading us to turn on ourselves. Christ came to show us that when we become docile to grace and turn towards seeking salvation in Christ we become filled with the wisdom that leads us to become what Christ called us to be. We come to experience a reality that is bigger than our own understanding at this time.
Christ came to save us from the forces that come into play when we decide to be on our own.
It is no secret that our country is in a rather unique time. It is a scary time for many and a hopeful time for others.
However, this Christmas, is especially a time to grow and seek to understand the need we have for a savior. Maybe the greatest Christmas present we can receive is just that, recognizing our need for a savior by understanding what he saved us from.
By CBS Television - ebay itemphoto frontphoto back, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23707752