interstellar image

Recently we took our two college age boys to see the new movie Interstellar. We saw the movie at the Studio Movie Grill, so we had food and drinks on the tables in front of us as the movie began.  The movie opened with a thunderous scene of a rocket taking off, and as it did, our tables rumbled so strongly that we had to grab our meals to keep them from rumbling off. From that opening moment, I knew I was in for a ride. I fully expected to enjoy the movie, but I did not expect to find a spiritual message in it. But there it was: an astrophysical presentation of the Gospel itself. I certainly don’t want to give the movie away, so I will offer only the details needed to show how this spiritual message made its entrance.

As the previews of the movie state, a group of astronauts leave our suffering planet in search for another suitable home for human beings. Finding a wormhole, they are able to travel to distant galaxies. Yet as they do, they become acutely aware of the laws of gravity and relativity that they cannot escape. One of the major impacts of these laws is the relationship of time to space, and how these space travelers can’t help but see how minutes of their time will cost years and decades for their loved ones back home.  In one poignant scene, these astronauts have just realized that the lives of their loved ones have passed by in the wink of an eye, and how everything and everyone are so enslaved to the laws of time and space. But then, one astronaut realizes that there is one power in the universe that transcends these laws. It is a force not bound by gravity or by relativity; a force that is not subject to time. It is the one power that can span time and space, and can even span the gulf between life and death. What is this ultimate transcending power that is not subject to the laws of nature? It is, in a word, love.

As these astronauts are discussing this, it became clear to me that they were seeking to identify the transcending power that one might name as God. And as they discover that it is Love that truly transcends all, their discovery in outer space is the same as the discovery of the ancient writer of I John 3:16, who stated long age that “God is Love”. It is the same as the Apostle Paul who said in I Corinthians 13:3 that “Love never ends”.  Indeed, ancient scripture and modern astrophysics have come to the same conclusion. The power of love, which is accessible to all of us each and every day, is the greatest power in the universe. For it is the one thing that is not limited by space, time, or even life itself.

That’s the Gospel according to Interstellar…a great modern telling of the Old, Old Story!