Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Avatar and the Incarnation of Christ

Trying to explain deep theological concepts to young adults who did not grow up in church can be a challenge. One of the most important concepts in the Christian faith is the incarnation of Christ. Entire books have been written on the incarnation. To boil it down to its most basic element, the incarnation is the idea that God became a man and lived among us. God did this so that we could understand Him in a personal way through the person of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately most of us still fail to grasp the full impact of the incarnation.

Since Christmas is all about the incarnation of Christ, I thought I'd tackle this subject during this season of the year. Many of us, who are sci-fi fans, have seen the new movie that recently came out called Avatar. This movie has the incarnation theme all through it. The story line revolves around a group of humans who are mining ore on a distinct planet. They are trying to communicate something important about this process to a race of blue aliens. But the aliens just don't get it because they have a completely different way of looking at the world than the humans do. Some human scientists decide to grow a human/alien hybrid in a lab and then let humans mind meld with these creatures. The creatures then go live among the aliens for the purpose of being able to communicate this important information to them. During the course of the movie, much is learned about the culture of the blue aliens that could not have been learned except by living among them and experiencing life as they experienced it.

Though the illustration is far from perfect, this does give a basic understanding of the incarnation of Christ. God became a man in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ came to live among us because we could not really grasp everything God was trying to say to us without the Creator of the universe walking among us. By seeing how Christ lived and related to those around Him, mankind learned important truths that God wanted us to know. The writers of the four Gospels wrote down the actions of Jesus and scholars have spent 2000 years learning from them. The incarnation is important because we would never have been able to understand God in a personal way had He not come to us in the person of Jesus Christ.

During this Christmas season, perhaps we should each spend some time asking how much we have learned from our relationship with Jesus. As the New Year approaches, perhaps one of our resolutions might be to invest more time, energy and effort into getting to know Jesus better in the year to come. He came to earth to show us important truths, the least we can do is learn those lessons and apply them to our lives in order to better understand the universe in which we live.

Who knew we could learn all that from a sci-fi movie?


  1. Good point, Dr T

  2. Lindsay Michelle GagnonDecember 23, 2009 at 9:08 PM

    I like this. It's good.

  3. S. N., 16 years old, from Barre, VTDecember 24, 2009 at 6:56 AM

    I am having a hard time understanding who your audience is. At first you were talking about people who did not grow up in church, which would make them not believe in god. Than you talk about how we should learn from our relationship with Jesus even though 90% of people under the age of 18 don't think of jesus at all during christmas

  4. Thanks for your comment SN. I encounter many young adults who did not grow up in church but still believe in some kind of God, but they are usually kind of "fuzzy" on the details. Those people are my intended audience.
    I want to help people who think there is something up there somewhere become more connected with whatever it is. One way to do that is to help them think about Jesus.
    A vague concept of God is hard to relate to. But learning about Jesus, whose life is recorded in the Gospels, is much easier to grasp.
    You are right that many young people don't think about Jesus during Christmas and that is sort of sad, since it is supposed to be a symbolic celebration of His birth.
    I hope my post will make them stop and think about it, even if only for a few minutes.

  5. We do need to invest more in getting to know who Jesus is, and we also need to invest more in following Him and obeying Him. His final words before the assention, especially. Go and make disciples. It's a command to every Christian.