Summary: God desires for us, as pilgrims in a strange land, to call out to Him and seek relationship through prayer.
In June of 1982 an amazing phenomenon swept across America. In the months prior to it release, one phrase was pounded into the minds of young and old alike: He is afraid. He is alone. He is 3 million light years from home. E.T. landed on theatre screens on June 11 and this Steven Spielberg film about a stranded alien took home 4 Academy awards and 37 other awards, including: the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Drama and the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Motion Picture. Unbeknownst to many, this film also carried a prophetic message to the church that has largely been overlooked. Just what was it that God was saying to his church through this captivating story?
I believe that E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial speaks to us about a longing that is hidden deep within the heart of every man, but in the case of a believer it has been activated and resonates much more prominently. You may be asking yourself at this point, “What kind of longing did E.T. have that relates to me? It was just a dumb science fiction movie.” To answer that question, you may need to look in an unexpected place. In books and movies a person typically relates to the character who is most like them. Who is that in E.T.? Some of you are saying Elliott, who is a natural choice as a human child who fights the system to do what is right and just. But let me suggest to you that you are much more like E.T. himself.
In popular culture this term refers to aliens, like E.T., and is generally associated with U.F.O. sightings. However, in the scientific context, it refers to hypothetical life that exists outside of Earth. Extra is from Latin, meaning “outside” and terrestris is Latin for “earthly”, so an extraterrestrial is something that is from outside or beyond the earth. In other words, this term describes YOU precisely. Maybe it was both E.T. and 1 Peter 2:11 that inspired the 1983 song by Petra, Not of this World.
We are pilgrims in a strange land
We are so far from our homeland
With each passing day it seems so clear
This world will never want us here
We’re not welcome in this world of wrong
We are foreigners who don’t belong
We are strangers, we are aliens
We are not of this world
We are envoys, we must tarry
With this message we must carry
There’s so much to do before we leave
With so many more who may believe
Our mission here can never fail
And the gates of hell will not prevail
1 Peter 2:11-12 (NIV)
11 Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
1 Peter 2:11 (The Message)
11-12Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul. Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives.