I love to watch those shows on TV about aliens and how they are visiting Earth in all those UFOs. According to these guys, aliens are around every corner and behind every bush and have been for thousands of years. They don’t think it is speculation but fact we are being visited by our next door neighbors pretty regularly. So with that in mind, what did you think about NASA’s recent announcement about possible life on Mars?

In its opinion a 41/2-billion-year-old chunk of rock floated through space for a couple millennium, landed on the earth 13,000 years ago and now may or may not have fossilized life forms 500 times smaller than a human hair embedded in it. This ain’t exactly a close encounter of a third kind.

People are speculating on what all of this means from science to theology. Some folks believe the minute ET shows up we ought to close the church and start worshiping Darwin, astronomers and astronauts. With NASA’s announcement you would think little green men just landed in Washington, asked for our leader and the Trumps are now entertaining them in the White House. It has overtones of Luke Skywalker, 3CPO and Dr. Spock all rolled together. Remember all of this comes from a micro-fossil too small to even see without an electron microscope. May the Force be with you?

So this brings up another question, what if aliens showed up at our churches on Sunday morning. How would we react? After all, they wouldn’t talk like us, be the same color, wear the same clothes or even look like us. Heaven help one of them if they inadvertently sat in the pew where you always sit. I wonder if an alien can even sit. Then again maybe we would just treat them like we do any visitor on Sunday and ignore them.

One fact I’m pretty sure of is they won’t be Baptist because there isn’t enough water on Mars to baptize. However, if they are tithers I could look for a special dispensation until we worked it out. Of course I would enroll them in Sunday school, age grade them into the proper class (I wonder how old a Martian is?), count them as present and encourage them to bring a friend for high attendance day.

It’s amazing how a fellow can start speculating from a simple report of possible ancient bacterial life forms. I assure you we would be better off concentrating on the real prospects in the shadow of the church than worrying about science fiction.

The questions raised by these reports are not a threat to our faith. God’s Word makes it clear He created and controls the universe. My God is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscience. He is everywhere, all powerful and all knowing. A few theories about microbugs in a rock are no problem for the God of all creation. The real question is why a God so big would come to Earth to redeem such creatures as us? The answer is simple — love. 

John 3:16 is a beautiful picture of our God’s care for His planet Earth and all His children. The real majesty of the universe is in worshipping God for His grace. In reality the church travels through time and space to experience the extra terrestrial being of God every Sunday. Now this is real space travel.

Still I would like to meet some of these fellows from outer space. They couldn’t be any worse than some of my wife’s relatives and probably wouldn’t stay as long. ET, phone home!

Dr. Gerald Hallmark is a retired minister living in Alexander City. His column appears here each Friday.