Daily Word of Grace # 80 (July 6, 2020)
My all-time favorite science fiction film is the 1968 classic 2001: A Space Odyssey. This film inspired the late David Bowie to write one of his signature hits, his 1969 song “Space Oddity”, which tells of a celebrity astronaut, Major Tom, who’s “really made the grade”, and who finds himself increasingly isolated in space: “This is Major Tom to Ground Control. I’m stepping through the door and I’m floating in a most peculiar way, and the stars look very different today. For here am I sitting in a tin can far above the world. Planet Earth is blue and there’s nothing I can do.” As in 2001: A Space Odyssey there is a computer malfunction that leads to disaster: “Ground Control to Major Tom, your circuit’s dead, there’s something wrong. Can you hear me, Major Tom? Can you hear me, Major Tom? Can you hear me, Major Tom?” The song ends with Major Tom utterly alone and “floating in a most peculiar way”—out of contact, out of touch. One of the reasons both the film and song resonate so much even all these years later is because each of us can relate to that. Each of us, even accomplished celebrities like Major Tom, in one way or another has experienced metaphorically (and sometimes literally) the exact same thing: the terrifying combination of loneliness, isolation, and fear. And yet one of the recurring themes in scripture is that God is always with us, whether or not we are aware of it, even if we feel alone “floating in a most peculiar way.” God’s presence with us is found in Jesus Christ, “Emmanuel, which means ‘God is with us’” (Matthew 1:23), the same Jesus who after his death and resurrection declared, “Remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
Love and Prayers,