Have you seen the super highly rated, PG-13, 2016 sci-fi thriller, Arrival?
Or, maybe first I should ask if you watched the Academy Awards last night.Arrival was nominated for 8 Oscars (although it’s only win was for sound editing), not to mention 184 other nominations in other venues,
and it already had 34 wins going in to the 89th Academy Awards. My son Joel
(who’s an editor at a local publishing house and is fascinated by language) enjoyed it so much that he bought a copy shortly after Arrival was available,
and we watched it as a family.Without spoiling the end (if you haven’t seen it), I can tell you that the story
is about a linguistics professor, Louise Banks (played by Amy Adams), who is asked to leave her position teaching linguistics at a university and join physicist Ian Donnelly (played by Jeremy Renner) as part of a special army task force assigned to a military base in Montana in response to a world crisis, where 12 extraterrestrial spacecraft appear hovering just above the earth at various locations around the globe. Although throughout the world people feel threatened by this extraterrestrial presence, and some nations prepare to attack in hopes of destroying them,Louise and Ian work together for months trying to decipher the aliens’ language in the hopes of understanding why they have come to the earth. Are the aliens friendly or dangerous? What are they trying to say? Will Louise and Ian survive their encounters?Will the earth survive their encounters?
There’s a lot of suspense, a fascinating plot with a good twist at the end, and a subliminal message that the viewers are left to ponder for themselves. Without saying too much that might spoil the experience for those who haven’t seen it yet, the message I took from the movie is that of transcendence. To me, God is the timeless, transcendent One who knows the past, present, and future. He sees all and knows all, from the beginning to the ending.
This goes beyond the movie, but I believe we can know some things about the future even in our present if we’ll only study to decipher God’s handwriting on the wall. God tells us in the Bible that He’s the great “I am,” the beginning and the ending.
Is God friendly or dangerous? Although many people fear God as a potential threat (just like many of the nations feared the aliens), God is actually friendly now. God is Love, and God loves us!
What is God trying to say? He has come with a message: There is a Day of Judgment coming in the future, for which we need to prepare now.
Will we survive our encounters? Only you and I can answer that for ourselves by trying, but it’s scary to try before you know, isn’t it? Just like Louise and Ian demonstrated, it takes a lot of faith, courage, and hope. God entered time and space in the form of a man, Jesus Christ, who came to die in our place, making reconciliation with God possible if we are willing to repent (change our ways) and accept the gift of eternal life through faith in Christ.
Will the earth survive our encounters? There is an answer in the Bible. Do you know it? (If you don’t, try reading the last book in the Bible, called Revelation.) Finding the answer is a lot more thrilling than watching Arrival! “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen” (Jude 24-25).