I talked with someone recently about their choice of novels. Besides the Bible, I was wondering what kind of books they liked to read.
It turns out the favored genre was time travel.
I asked her why? She responded, “One reason is that of all the issues that could come up. Each author takes it in a different way.” I get the point. A writer could really play with the concept to create some wonderful storylines.
Let’s have some fun with this. I invite you to use your imagination and place yourself within the following stories.
Let’s say you go back in time. You could witness the birth of Jesus Christ. If so, what would you be doing there? Would you want to prove yourself useful and not just stand idly by – perhaps giving Mary a crash course on Lamaze breathing techniques?
Scripture itself might be changed by your lending a helpful hand: “Then a comforting angel of the Lord made a visit to Mary.”
Let’s say you could also transport items with you. You could be standing on Plymouth Rock as the ships arrive and welcome the Pilgrims with mugs of steaming hot cocoa, winter jackets, and a warming center.
Historians might record: “That first winter was harsh, but because of the gracious hospitality of a stranger, everyone survived to see the spring.”
You could be present at the signing of the Declaration of Independence and inquire if the parchment could be made a little longer. That way everyone could have a signature just as big as John Hancock’s.
A small notation on this grand document might read: “Also, special thanks to (insert name) for the excellent suggestion of an extra three inches of paper.”
All this would be great fun. However, time travel remains just a fantasy.
The good news is that we don’t need time travel to make history. In fact, we can do so here and now.
The Apostle Paul once wrote that the most valuable gifts are those that edify the whole, contribute to the common good, and make a community stronger.
Historians may not record the kindness you give but God will certainly take note: “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Walter is pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church and has served as parish pastor for 30 years.