Every day in Advent 2016 we will be sharing short reflections from authors, Christian charities and Eden team members.
Arthur C. Clarke’s short story “The Sentinel” is the basis for Stanley Kubrick’s legendary film 2001 A Space Odyssey. In the original story humanity explores the moon and on the dark side discovers an obelisk (the original of all those dark obelisks in Kubrick’s movie).
This obelisk, made of some unknown unearthly material, is transmitting a regular signal, and scientists attempt to break in to discover its origin and function. Finally, in desperation they use an atomic weapon to try to penetrate its impossibly hard outer shell. The result is—the whole thing disintegrates (and stops transmitting).
The conclusion reached at the end of the story is that the obelisk was a warning device planted by ancient aliens. Now that its signal has stopped the aliens know two things about humanity: we have developed space flight, and we have atomic weapons.
The last line of the short story is: “They’re coming!”
Our word “Advent” derives from a Latin source word that means “coming”. And that’s what the Advent season—advance notice of an alien invasion: a warning that “He’s coming.”
That first Advent season was a warning that Planet Earth was about to become a Visited Planet—it was an announcement that our small planet was about to receive a Visitor from Galactic Central.
This advance warning included some hyper space re-alignment of interstellar light as a signal to ancient scientists that something was up—and it was time for them to travel to the scene of the imminent Arrival.
The announcement included the abrupt arrival of alien beings—beamed down into a sheep field to the astonishment of the local rural workers. These beings made their big announcement to the lack-jawed bucolic spectators, sang a heavenly song, and just as abruptly departed (“Beam us up, Scotty”).
When the promised visit happened it was not in the form of one Stephen Spielberg’s giant space ships throbbing with light—but a baby, born in humble circumstances in a Middle Eastern village.
And that makes it very easy to miss the importance of this “Coming.”
When that carpenter’s betrothed gave birth to that baby the Maker was ushered into the creation he had made. It was the beginning of God’s rescue mission to Planet Earth.
What all those folks who use radio telescopes in a Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence miss is that—contact has already been made!
The Message has become a Man—who walked and talked, and taught and healed, who died and conquered death. And that’s a message we miss at our own peril, because we now have a second warning flashing on our radar screens…
“He’s coming back!”
Kelvin "Kel" Richards is an Australian author, journalist and radio personality. His works include the 1930's Murder Mystery Series: The Corpse in the Cellar, The Country House Murders, The Floating Body & the rcently released, The Sinister Student.
December 8th, 2016 - Posted & Written by The Editor