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3D Specs

posted 6 Dec 2014, 00:30 by Mark Broomhead

When I was growing up I remember a time when the BBC ran a load of 3-D TV programs. The Radio Times came with a free pair of blue and red specs which I mostly used for running around the playground pretending to be a spaceman like an idiot. Once again 3-D has become massively popular and more advanced - with 3-D films, channels and 3D TVs. But all this technology is useless without a pair of 3-D specs. Turning a flat image into one that comes alive beyond the surface is all about depth perception. In order for you brain to appreciate depth, it needs to see two different angles of the same image just as we get when we look with two eyes at the world around us. Whilst this metaphor may not be useful to our partially sighted and blind friends, I would like to use it to think about our spiritual perception - what and how we see things. I believe we need a pair of spiritual 3-D specs and I believe Jesus told us exactly what to put in the lenses. Now at the time of Jesus the jews lived by the law, it was their outlook on the world and the way in which they lived to try their best to honour God. Some of these “Lawmen” asked Jesus “which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus knew they were trying to trick him, trying to expose him as a fraud, trying to make him look stupid, but they failed, because his answer was perfect. In fact I believe it to be the basis of how we are to explore and live out our faith - in it’s most basic and advanced form. He said: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

These are the two lenses which Jesus gave us to view our faith. “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

I believe if we do not explore and view our faith, from what ever angle, without these two lenses it is flat and fuzzy and doesn’t make sense, just like an old fashioned 3D image without the specs. This should be the first step of faith or exploration we make, as we begin our journey and at every step of the way.

Now, I have recently got some reading glasses, yes I am getting to that age and they are very effective, but as a lifelong non glasses wearer I am not very good at remembering to put them on - or even take them out with me. So I struggle on in a fuzzy world. The same is true of these spiritual specs I am describing - you actually have to put them on, and to keep putting them on and that might not feel very natural in fact it may well be very uncomfortable. But I believe it is worth it so see life at last in 3D. Hopefully your specs should also work as BS detectors too.

Now to mix my metaphors - once I was at a festival with a band I was playing with, the organisers had asked us to play some music written by other people to help them with a churchy style worship session. Now being the lazy musician that I am, I had the words printed out in black and using a red pen I wrote the chords above to give me an idea of what to play. My plan was going well until the lighting man decided to make things a little moody, and bathed the stage in red light, at this point all of the chords disappeared and I didn't have a clue what to play.

I would like to say that my superior musicianship and my knowledge of the songs kicked in at this point, but that would be a lie. What happened is I froze, and in the end I had to shout down the mic to the crew to change the lights. Now the danger with your 3-D specs is that the same thing might happen. If something an't be seen or make sense through these two lenses then I’d like to suggest that it is not part of the faith that Jesus taught. After all Jesus said all of the law and the prophets hang on these… So if something you rely on, something that you took for granted because it is familiar or comfortable disappears when you view them through your 3-D specs you may end up feeling just like me on that stage. You may feel vulnerable, terrified and confused. If this happens to you I pray you have the courage to play on and unlike me don't scream for things to be put back the way they were. Maybe it is time to learn a new song?