In case you are planning on watching Star Trek: Picard but have not watched it yet: Be ye warned! I shall endeavor not to give spoilers but I make no promises.
I love Star Trek. I love it more than that other Star-genre… I have watched every episode and movie (except Discovery. I’m not sure what’s not working for me there). I would watch the movies on winter and spring breaks when I was in school. I want to be Captain Picard, despite what is probably a life-long deficit in my attitude and disposition. I was in love with their vision of the future, and if I’m being completely honest, the Federation was probably my first concept of the Reign of God. No money, everyone is free and equal, and everyone is just trying to live their best lives. And it wouldn’t hurt if there were some Vulcans too.
But as I’ve grown up and become familiar with the workings of the world and the joys and disappointments of life, it has begun to feel like a far off dream. There is no Federation after Brexit, never-ending wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, with plagues and civil strife and the hopelessness that comes along with all of the preceding. And then I watched the first episode of Picard.
Early in the episode, now Admiral Picard (ret.) is giving his first interview in ten years on the anniversary of the Romulan star going supernova. At one point, Picard is talking about how many lives were lost and the interviewer stopped him and corrected him saying, “Romulan lives,” to which Picard responds, “Lives.” And that crystallized for me what is so important about Star Trek and Christianity. When Picard says, “Lives,” he reveals the depths of our love and compassion for one another that our religion also calls us to. In that moment, Picard is looking at the universe with God’s eyes.
We all hear in our churches and in our bibles that God sees the person inside, doesn’t see this or that, but how often do we really allow that known-ness to penetrate our own consciousness, to open our eyes? How often do we let ourselves see not just ourselves, but those around us the way God sees them? How often do we allow our hearts to melt and become open to the fullness of a world where we don’t see the label as the definition of our kindred?
It is in fashion in the USA right now to be cynical to the workings of our common life, but when we look through God’s eyes, we are shattered and we do not see a republican, we see a life. We do not see a democrat or independent, we see a life. We do not see the “whites” or the “blacks” or the “straights” or the “gays.” No. We see lives, and these lives are blessed in their diversity to teach each one of us humility, grace, and kindness in the face of an arrogant, unforgiving, and cruel culture bent on division instead of unity.
Join with Picard, and with me, and with God and celebrate lives in all their fullness and richness and diversity, today for all these lives are made in God’s image.