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This week's eNote
January 25, 2021 by Pastor scott blevins
Then Yahweh God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person. (Genesis 2:7)
A few years ago (after watching the first two Twilight movies), I posted to Facebook some critical comments about Bella (the main character, for you non-Twilighters). Within hours a “friend” replied to my post with a scathing, dissertation-length defense of Bella and attack on me. Clearly I had struck a nerve for this friend. She deeply empathized with and (dare I say loved) Bella. She was eager to defend Bella against my callous, and insensitive remarks. My primary thought in response was, “Bella isn’t real.”
To be fair I have grown fond of many fictional characters myself...Obi-Wan Kenobi, Gandalf, Dumbledore, Paul Atreides, Arya Stark, Tyrion Lannister and others. (And while I enjoyed the Twilight books, no, I am not on Team Edward or Team Jacob.) I’m a big fan of stories in multiple mediums. Well-written and well-acted characters can inspire, encourage, and comfort me. I respect these (and other) characters, and the authors, writers and actors who have given them “life.” I confess that I can become too attached to fictional characters and at times care too much about them. (I await with deeping dread and suspicion Amazon’s upcoming Lord of the Rings TV series.)
I have to remember though that (no matter how badly Amazon may distort and exploit Tolkien’s characters), they are fictional not real.
It amazes me how easily we humans (me included) become attached to and even love fictional characters. I include real-life actors, politicians, and other celebrities in this. Unless we’re part of their inner circle all we know is the positive PR generated by their allies or the scurrilous rumors spread by their enemies. Both of which are likely to be far more fiction than reality.
At this point, if you are still reading, you’re probably saying, “Very nice, Blevins, but so what.” Here’s what…
I find it fascinating that one of the first and oldest names of God that we have is Yahweh which literally means “He Exists.” In Genesis 1 where we see God creating the vast cosmos, God is called Elohim which can be translated as “Powers,” “Most Powerful” or “The Mighty One.” But in Genesis 2 where we see God stooping down, molding humans out of dirt, breathing his breath into us, and walking and talking with us, God is called Yahweh: He Exists.
Names in ancient Hebrew were not like names in much of the USA. For many in the US a name is a sound or collection of letters that identify a particular person. In ancient Hebrew names described a person's character, identity and even place in the world. And one of God’s names (some even say God’s first and true name) is He Exists.
Let that sink in.
In a world where it is increasingly difficult to separate fact from fiction and fake from real, He Exists. In a world where PR and gossip substitute for the real person, He Exists. In a world of fake news, CGI, virtual reality and phony social media, He Exists.
As early as two decades ago (and probably before that), futurists were predicting that one of the most important and necessary skills to have in the 21st Century would be the ability to distinguish truth from fantasy. And He Exists.
At one level this encourages me to invest more time in getting to know He Exists than I spend in getting to know fictional characters and celebrities of all stripes. But this encourages me at a much, much deeper level, too. Because no matter how hard it becomes to distinguish real news from fake, PR from the person, conspiracy theories from actual conspiracies, no matter how hard it is to know who’s really being real and who’s really speaking the truth, He Exists. God is real, Jesus is truth, no matter what you, me or anyone else says about him.