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The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker

The Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker is co-pastor at United Presbyterian Church in Peoria, Il. He also works with the Presbytery of Great Rivers as an Electronic Communications and Media Technology Consultant.

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A Man Who Never Would

April 18, 2013

 

In The Doctor's Daughter (Doctor Who, S4 ep 6), The Doctor, Donna Noble, and Martha Jones stumble into the midst of a planetary civil war between human and Hath (fish-like humanoids). The two sides have been fighting for so long they aren't even sure why the war began. Soldiers are grown quickly using the DNA of the existing humans and Hath so that generations are born and killed within hours. Each side is trying to fight its way to The Source, but neither knows what it is.

The Doctor's DNA is used to create a soldier, so the Doctor has a daughter, and his daughter turns out to be too much like him. She can't walk away or look the other way any more than the Doctor can. The Doctor and his companions make it to The Source right as the Hath and humans do from opposite sides.

The Doctor reaches The Source first and breaks it open to lets its contents escape into the poisonous atmosphere of the planet. That's what The Source was always meant to do. It was a terra forming device meant to be used by human and Hath together to make an otherwise uninhabitable planet a paradise. Humans and Hath were supposed to start a new society and new life together, but instead they fought and killed generations in mere days.

The human general was too used to war though. It was all he knew, and he was powerful in conflict. He didn't know how to live in peace, and so he tries to shoot The Doctor who took his life from him, but the Doctor's daughter jumps in front of the bullet. After saying goodbye to the daughter he just met, the Doctor grabs the general's gun and hold's it to the general's head with anger and pain in his eyes. He holds it there and then lowers the weapon and kneels by the general saying, "I never would. Have you got that? I never would."

Looking around at human and Hath who have laid down their weapons, The Doctor challenges them to make the foundation of their society a man who never would. In other words, to build a society built on forgiveness, reconciliation, and peace rather than retributive justice.

In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth.....

None of us remember the world when it was a formless void. It has been many generations since the first humans walked this Earth, but just the blink of the eye in the life of this world. An uninhabitable place was made a paradise by a God who chose to. God wasn't compelled to create the world. The world was not created out of an overflow of God's power or love. God made a conscious decision, God elected, to create. The foundation of our world is a God who would, a God who chose to create. God ordered the chaos and called it good. God spoke us into being, molded us out of the mud, and called us very good.

The foundation of this world is good. It's too easy to forget that. We focus on the sin that so quickly entered the world. We focus on our own sin, and what is more likely, we focus on our neighbor's sin. We shake our heads and mutter under our breath about governments, corporations, young people, old people, and those people. We assume the world is bad and that we have to make it good.

No, the foundation of our world is a God who chose to create because God wanted to. The foundation of our lives is and should be a God who made each and everyone one of us very good. Don't ever forget that.

When you're angry or distressed about the state of the world or your life, remember that God made this earth good and God made you very good. Especially remember this sure foundation when you are tempted to judge a neighbor and continue the cycles of retributive justice. The person you are about to hurt with your hand or your words was made very good by God. We all have strayed from that foundation, but through Christ, God brings us back.

Christ has the power to end our conflicts. Christ has the power to end the conflicts within ourselves and with our neighbors. Christ has the power to defeat sin and its effects on us so that all that remains is what God originally created-very good.

Make the foundation of this world and your life a God who would make us very good. Remember that; you are very good! Never let anyone treat you otherwise, and never treat anyone else other than very good.

If you would like to see a clip of the ending of The Doctor's Daughter (albeit it with Chinese subtitles) you can view it below.

 

 


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