It’s our first communication with people from another planet!
In crude, telegraphed messages, we ask them, “What’s your life span?”
They answer: “About 300 years.”
We learn that they have superior agriculture, and unlimited free energy.
We ask: “How did you keep from blowing each other up?”
And they answer with what sounds like a passage from…the Sermon on the Mount. (Matthew 5-7)
Sound like a cheesy sci-fi movie premise from the 50’s, doesn’t it? Well it is.
The movie is “Red Planet Mars,” from 1952, starring Peter Graves. You can watch it on Netflix here, if you’re a subscriber, but be forewarned, it’s no Star Wars!
It’s a cold war propaganda piece that takes a sudden right turn into matters of faith. And I kind of loved it.
Here are these unseen Martians quoting us passages from the Bible (King James version, I might add!) The whole world is astounded and comes back to the church in droves. The iron curtain is torn down. Every last no good bum finds their way to God, and the world is saved!
Do you think it would really work like that?
If we picked up distant radio signals from another world, telling us to love our neighbor and abandon our sinful ways, do you think the world would change overnight?
Not very likely.
Why would the Good News, coming from so far away, be able to accomplish what the Good News struggled to accomplish when it walked right here among us?
Jesus delivered the message of all messages, about God’s love for us, and our need to love our neighbors and practice servanthood as clearly as has ever been stated. The actual Sermon on the Mount is an unparalleled collection of words to live by.
The words are available in every church and book store and hotel room from here to the North Pole, but let’s face it, even die-hard Christians have trouble heeding them.
I suppose a voice from the heavens would carry some outside authority, some confirmation that God really means business. Maybe we’d all take this Jesus business more seriously. For a while.
But until each human receives and decodes God’s message in their own hearts,
The Good News threatens to remain,
Have a Good Week,