Making "Contact"

September 18, 1997
by Andrea Chapman

Hebrews 11:1-3 – Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

In the movie Contact, a search committee decides that the person representing Earth to other life in our universe should believe in God. The courageous heroine of the film, portrayed with all of Jodie Foster's usual intensity, cannot meet that requirement. She is a scientist, after all, and must rely on data, evidence, and empirical proof. By the end of the film, however, her space travels introduce her to a powerful force which she cannot explain, cannot prove, but which she knows beyond all doubt to be "Truth." In a passionate address she encourages others to take comfort in knowing that we are not alone, that there is something larger than ourselves at work, and that there is more to the universe than meets the eye. Her words parallel those of the theologian/love interest of the story but do not merge with them, for she cannot yet acknowledge God as the "Powerful Force" behind the creation of the universe. She is so close, so very close, yet so far away. How sad that the movie ended rather ambiguously, as though it really doesn't matter what one believes in, as long as one believes passionately. It does matter! Of course our lives are enriched by the benefits provided by scientific research in a variety of fields. Yet faith gives us a greater insight into life, making it the promised "abundant life," and extending our understanding beyond that which is revealed by an electron microscope or Hubble Space Telescope. In Jesus, God has revealed Himself as a Person who can be known intimately."

Prayer: Heavenly Father, may all your children seek you while you may be found. Through your Holy Spirit help me to sow and nurture the seed of faith in soil which you have made fertile. Through Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Amen.

About the author:

Andrea Chapman
Lakeland, Florida, USA

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