Channel Earth

When I was a toddler, television (TV) had begun to be available in average American homes. There were only three viewing options: ABC, CBS, and NBC, each of which aired similar competing shows plus the news. All shows were in black & white (no one had yet solved the riddle of color TV) and at our house, we could only receive two of the three channels, plus it took constant tinkering with “rabbit ears” antennae, tin foil, and metal coat hangers to get to watch those two grainy channels.

Still, my family got a mix of information and entertainment from TV and we picked favorite shows to watch, adjusting our time schedule to those shows. As TV improved, more channels and a greater variety of shows compelled an investment of more personal time from us to view them. There was something fascinating about watching someone else live out their life, even if it was scripted. We are watched with interest all of the time.

Why is God fascinated with mankind? The Christian Bible does not tell us why, only that he is. The Bible, a record of a shared journey between mankind and our creator, was written by many authors who had first hand experience with God, beginning with the Book of Job (estimated to be written about 1500 BC) and ending with the Book of James (estimated to be written about 24 AD).

My opinion is that the unpredictable actions of mankind makes us fascinating to him, just as the unknown fascinates us in a mystery, the unexpected puts us on the edge of our seat in a drama, and unbounded risk excites us in an action thriller on TV. We find such TV stories of mankind on channels like HBO, AMC, Netflix, Apple TV, and Amazon Prime. God sees all, in real-time on Channel Earth. Rarely does he interfere in the drama of our lives, but when he has done that, it was spectacular! Web search Acts 26.

You have read an account of Paul of Tarsus (originally named Saul), a Christian Apostle (one who is sent). He has languished in a Roman prison in the Roman Province of Judea for two years, and has now appeared before the Judean King (Herod Agrippa II) and offered a chance to explain charges against him for violation of Jewish laws. In his explanation, Paul correctly identifies himself as a member of the Pharisees, a privileged Jewish Sect known to strictly enforce Jewish Law. He had persecuted and killed early Christians (those who attempted to form the Christian Church following Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection from death). Then, he explains how Jesus (himself) confronted him and flipped his life to become a missionary to form Christian Churches.

Can you see how fascinated that God would be to see Paul stand up to King Herod Agrippa II, in the presence of Roman Governor Festus? These men could have Paul tortured and killed on the spot, and he has said things to them that (in their minds) could justify it. What stops them? King Agrippa actually says that Paul was wrongly imprisoned (jeopardizing his own position as the Judean King). Then, he craftily tells Felix that Paul had cited his Roman citizenship (all Judeans are Roman citizens at this point), and thus, he is in the wrong court of law. Felix has Paul sent to Rome for further imprisonment (and eventual execution). Why wouldn’t God simply smite the lot of them and set Paul free? Bad question.

God does not answer to us. Fascinated with us, yes, but don’t try to figure him out. The way this turned out was that Paul would not quit trying to grow the Christian Church. By being in prison, he could only do that by sending letters of support to the churches he had already founded. His letters are cornerstones in the Christian Bible. Web search Colossians 3, 1-4 & 5-11. This is one of Paul’s letters, sent to the Christian Church located in the Roman Province of Asia Minor (located today in the country of Turkey). He wrote it around the year 53 AD.

If you read the passages in Colossians, you have read (in the year 2021 or later) Paul’s guidance to you on what it means to be a Christian and how a Christian should live. God is fascinated with the lives of humans, including you. Rarely will he interfere. When he does, take note. You should let him know that he has peaked your interest. Pray to him. Acknowledge him as God and accept his son Jesus as your savior. Try to live your life as Paul advised. Jesus’ sacrifice was, and still is God’s grace for you. Admire Paul for his courage and selflessness. In the Christian Bible, search for guidance that clearly states that you, me, and every human, past, present, and future, will see Jesus at the same time, at our judgment on how we lived as we acted out our lives on Channel Earth.