ET was a movie made in 1982 by Steven Spielberg about an alien, (E.T., The Extra-Terrestrial), who crash landed on earth, made friends with a boy named Elliot, scared Drew Barrymore, ate Reese’s Pieces, phoned home, rode on a flying bike, and then got on his spaceship and went home. It’s really much better than the description I’ve provided, (Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 98% rating).
Why did I bring up a 34-year-old film? Because if you are a Christian, you are E.T. You are an Extra-Terrestrial. When you put your faith in Christ you no longer belonged to this world. Earth in is no longer your home. You belong somewhere else. Your natural identity, culture, and affections are bound to another land. There is a longing inside of you to “phone home”, to leave this awkward place, and be back among your “kind”. (There is also probably a longing inside you for Reese’s pieces, but that has more to do with your sugar tooth).
Unlike E.T. we did not come here by a spaceship. We did not arrive on Earth as aliens. Instead we were changed into aliens by faith in Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Our natures, affections, and thinking were transformed when Jesus gave us life in Him. So in some ways it’s hard to think of ourselves as aliens, because we are so naturally connected with the world around us. We know where we were born, where we grew up, and what foods, sports teams, and places we are fond of. It’s a bit difficult to consider ourselves as E.T.s when we can identify and connect with this world.
On the other hand, we can watch the news and observe the culture around us and recognize the norms and values, as well as the future of this world system do not match up with our own particular “species”, (to keep up with the alien theme). This world, or parts of it, is in the process of destroying the boundary lines between the sexes. This world’s philosophies produce hatred, corruption, and destructive pleasures. Our “mother-ship”, looking down on this planet, sees a culture and atmosphere with which it cannot identify or inhabit.
If you are a Christian, your identity is in heaven with Jesus, (Colossians 1:13-14). Your moral code and philosophic belief system is slowly being changed into that of God’s. Your likes and dislikes are being transformed, (Romans 12:2), to match your Creator and Savior. The Signs, (shameless reference), are all around you. More and more you should be growing distasteful with the culture and morals of this planet. More and more you should be longing for another country, a heavenly one, which is free from corruption and ruin. You should, like E.T., want to “phone home”, and go back to where you belong.
The heroes of the Bible felt this way. “and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland…But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one,” (Hebrews 11:13-16).
So what then? Where are you on the scale of alienness? (Yes, it’s an actual word). Are you groaning to “phone home”, (Romans 8:23), or are you comfortable with where you are? Are you allowing your self to be slowly changed into the image of Jesus, or are you content to conform to the world promoted in the news, magazines, and entertainment industry?
Recognize that you are E.T. You and I have crashed landed on a hostile planet which doesn’t share our values and mindset. While we’re here we need to do all we can to love on the Elliots and Drew Barrymores that come our way, (metaphorically speaking), and to enjoy the Reese’s pieces that come our way, (that’s a bit more literal because Reese’s pieces are indeed delicious), but we should always be longing for the mother-ship to come take us home…and we should try to take as many as possible with us…
Unlike E.T. who just left Elliot standing there while he sailed away. Jerk.
“This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through. My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue. The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door, and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.” – Jim Reeves, This World is Not My Home.