Doors Open Days are great for the above average sized family like ours. It’s an initiative which gives you free access into a number of fascinating buildings. Last weekend it was Edinburgh’s turn to host the event, so we made a visit to the Royal Observatory. The fact that one of our children has been granted the opportunity to take a ‘placement week’ at the Observatory was another reason for visiting.
One of the first exhibits we encountered was a hologram of the EELT (European Extremely Large Telescope). Whilst this was impressive given the sheer scale of the project, it was nonetheless a bit surreal because construction has just started in Chile and the telescope will not become operational until the mid 2020’s.
Last weekend, Julian Assange, the Wikileaks founder, appeared before an ‘open-mouthed’ audience at the 2014 Nantucket Project in Massachusetts. It was quite the spectacle as he sat on a stool beside filmmaker Eugene Jarecki sharing his thoughts on the importance of public access to free information, research, and the impact of censorship on history. But why an ‘open-mouthed’ audience? Because Assange, having sought asylum in an attempt to avoid extradition to Sweden, has been confined to the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012. So how did he make his appearance in Massachusetts? By hologram. The man was there in aspect; he even answered questions, but in reality there was no one there.
Holograms are interesting when on a day out with the family or as entertainment for an ‘open-mouthed’ audience, but when a person’s faith is a mere hologram of the reality, that’s a matter of sobering eternal significance.
In Matthew’s gospel, at the end of the ‘Sermon on the Mount’ (that astonishing session of preaching and teaching), Jesus drives home his message with a spine chilling statement. “Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’, will enter the kingdom of heaven.” He goes on to say that many who have apparently given glowing impressions of faith during their lives will, on the day of judgement, be revealed for who they are – possessors of ‘Hologram’ faith. Faith that has absolutely no substance. Faith that is not real. Faith that will be met with the truly terrifying words : “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.”
Running your hand through a hologram shows that there is nothing there. Maybe it would be a good thing if we were to let the words of John 14 and 15 run through the inner recesses of our hearts and minds. That way we could test what type of faith we possess… whether it’s God given or Hologram!