I find as I progress on in life that I am increasingly becoming more nostalgic. You know, remembering things I used to do in by gone days, really missing them, and wishing I could experience those things again in the same old familiar way and environment. It’s funny the things I find myself missing. Such things as telephones that dial, transistor radios, black and white television screens, 50 cent cheeseburgers, Polar Bear ice cream, drive-in theaters, Brockles salad dressing, CBS radio mystery theater, lightening bugs (just don’t see as many as I did as a child), and stuff like that. I also miss some things that I encountered only briefly, but really enjoyed. Like the old PBS’s Masterpiece Theatre hosted by the British journalist, Allistair Cooke.
On Masterpiece Theatre, I most enjoyed the detective mysteries, based on the novels by author Dorothy Sayers. I have always liked detective stories, movies, and television shows. Such sleuths as Sherlock Holmes, Columbo, Hercule Poirot, Magnum P.I., Quincy, etc., were some of my favorites. But among all of them, Dorothy Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey, played by Ian Carmichael, really intrigued me. The main character was somewhat different from most other fictional detectives. Wimsey was a dilettante or amateur who solved mysteries for his own amusement. He was an aristocratic, British gentleman, detective who lived in the 1930’s and solved all kinds of crimes with suave, debonair ease.
Dorothy Sayers wrote a whole series of stories and novels about Lord Peter Wimsey. Lord Peter is often assisted by his valet Mervyn Bunter and his good friend and later brother-in-law, police detective Charles Parker. But then about halfway through her Wimsey detective series, a woman suddenly shows up in the novels. Sayers new character is named Harriet Vane, a female mystery writer and one of the very first women to graduate from Oxford University. Harriet and Peter fall in love and later marry. Until that point in the series, however, Whimsey was an unhappy, broken bachelor, until Harriet Vane shows up and her love starts to heal his broken soul.
The interesting thing is that Dorothy Sayers, like her fictional creation, was one of the first women to graduate from Oxford. Like Harriet Vane, Dorothy Sayers was a writer of mystery novels. Dorothy Sayers looked at her character, Lord Peter Wimsey, and saw that he needed someone to come to his rescue. So, who did she put in there? A detective novelist, a woman, and one of the first women to go through Oxford. Who was that? She put herself into her own stories. She looked into the world that she created and fell in love with the chief character, Peter Wimsey, and she wrote herself into that story, so she could heal him.
If you think about it, and in keeping with the Christmas season, this in many respects is what God through Christ did for us. God created the world. We turned away from Him and became damaged and alone through our sin. But God looks into the world He created and loves us, and He writes Himself into His own story! The difference between Dorothy Sayers and God is that God really wrote Himself into His story, He really put Himself in there in Jesus Christ, and He came through the second person of the Trinity as a baby in a stable. He came as a Savior without sin. And through His cross sacrifice and subsequent resurrection from the dead and our acceptance by faith of His gift of eternal life, God heals us and takes us to be His bride.
If you haven’t received the gift of eternal life, there is no better time than during this Christmas season to do so. Given all the worldly alternatives, you don’t have to be a super sleuth to figure out what you need to do. Admit God is God and you are not. Admit you have a sin nature and your choices of sin have led you to a lonely dead end. Ask Jesus to come into your life. Place your faith in Him alone and He will rescue you. If you already belong to Jesus, let Him solve the mysteries that are challenging and troubling your life by wholeheartedly continuing to trust and follow Him. I promise you will never nostalgically look back and regret loving, trusting, and pursuing Jesus Christ…the one who placed Himself in His story…for you and me.
Your pastor and friend,