If you understand the title of today’s post you are probably a Dr Who fan!
I don’t intend to get into a huge debate about which long running SciFi saga is the best but Dr Who is my personal favourite, always reinventing itself with new incarnations and regenerations of the Time Lord reaching out through time and space to a new generation.
I vividly remember hiding behind a cushion as a child while watching the Doctor on his adventures in the seventies and eighties. Tom Baker regenerating into Peter Davidson was my classic era. And when Christopher Ecclestone appeared on our screens as Doctor Who for the new millennium I was so excited to be able to share the Dr Who experience with my own children.
At half term I took youngest son on a week away to Scargill House, where I had been on my own earlier in the year. Read about it here and here.
Scargill House is a Christian community and this particular week away was entitled Travels in the Tardis, we explored what it would be like to travel with the Lord of Time and what it is really like to follow the Lord of all.
So what does Jesus have in common with the Doctor?
Well here are a few thoughts on the subject that emerged last week, comparisons, questions and quotes…
- The Doctor hates to travel alone. He is so much better when in community with others and he picks his companions well.
God is three in one, the trinity, never alone and yet He too holds out his hand to us and invites us on an adventure that He longs to share with us.
- “I've seen fake gods and bad gods and demigods and would-be gods; out of all that, out of that whole pantheon, if I believe in one thing... just one thing... I believe in her.” This is what The Doctor says of Rose in The Satan Pit.
Do we dare to think the God believes in us? He’s there always cheering us on, fully knowing what we are capable of. Sometimes we wonder if we are fit for the tasks before us but God is there whispering, like most of us parents do – I know you can do this – I believe in YOU!
- “I have a thing. It's like a plan, but with more greatness.” The Doctor tells Vincent Van Gogh.
God has a thing or a plan, it says so in the often quoted Jeremiah 29 “For I know the plans I have for you.”
The Doctor makes up the plan as he goes along, certain points in time are fixed and others moveable.
The book of Revelation at the end of the Bible tells us how the Bible story ultimately ends – God wins! We know the Doctor will save the world by the end of each episode or at the very least the series. What happens in the middle is always a bit of a “thing” that develops through the actions of the characters!
- Another great quote from Vincent and the Doctor “The way I see it, life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice versa the bad things don’t always spoil the good things and make them unimportant.”
God never tells us things will be easy just that He will always be with us.
“Don’t wander off” is the Doctor’s rule number 1. Do his companions ever listen? Do we always listen and follow God?
Yet God and the Doctor are always around when we do get lost, already ready to answer our distress call, our phone call, our prayers in unexpected and marvellous ways.
- Martha says of the Doctor “He has saved your lives so many times and you never even knew he was there. He never stops. He never stays. He never asks to be thanked. But I've seen him, I know him... I love him... And I know what he can do.”
Thinking about how the doctor saves us more often than we imagine remained me so much of one of my favourite Bible quotes from Ephesians.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
That verse also hints at the fact we have a part to play in this adventure. His power at work in us. Just at the Doctor’s companions realise their worth and abilities while travelling with the Doctor as we draw closer to God our stories become more entwined and our eyes are opened to the workings of an all-powerful God behind the scenes.
There are more things happening in heaven and earth than we can think of or imagine and yet God’s imagination is limitless, he saves us and NEVER stops.
- But the Doctor isn’t an infallible and perfect God figure.
He promises in Voyage of the Damned, the Christmas special starring Kylie, that he was going to save everyone. Like all the old disaster movies popular in the seventies, all the good people died saving others while the seemingly undeserving survived. Despite his best efforts the Doctor can’t save Astrid and that tears him apart, it is the beginning of the end of David Tennant’s reign as The Doctor.
God never makes such rash promises but he says “I will be with you until the very end of the age.” At the end of Matthew’s gospel, another of my favourite passages.
- “I’ve lived too long.” The Doctor woefully tells Wilf as he eventually gives his life for his friend when he knocks four times.
Jesus gives his life for us, just for us, each and every ordinary one of us. Yet he believes we are worth dying for to set creation right.
Our week away was great; we had fun, laughed, watched lots of Doctor Who, wrote a radio play, did some screen printing, visited a cave and ate lots of cake, including fishfinger cake and custard, remembering to sing the Doctor Who grace before eating!
Best of all I have made even more friends, who love life, Dr Who and Jesus – sounds like a fantastic combination to me. (The perfect centre to my Venn Diagram - if you follow the blog you will know what that means! Or check out my post here.)
Here’s a video that featured a lot during our week too…
Please feel free to add your own comments and thoughts on the area of Dr Who, Science fiction and faith, I’m genuinely interested.