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My First Wormhole 

(a Steve Orr scripture reflection)


Do you remember your first wormhole? Was it Madeline L’Engle’s “wrinkle in time?” Perhaps it was one of Stephen King’s “thinnies.” You may have first come to one in a computer game as a “gate” or a “portal.” It’s even possible your first wormhole was introduced to you in science class as Einstein’s “space-time bridge.”


Whenever it happened and whatever it was called, you must have wondered if something like that could actually happen. I know my curiosity was piqued when, as a middle-schooler, I read Robert Heinlein’s Tunnel in the Sky. Was it possible people might someday teleport to another planet like high school student Rod Walker did in the novel?


I am a fan of the unexplainable—a big fan. It's one of the reasons I so enjoy Bible passages describing events that seem impossible. Consider the one in this week's passage from Acts. God uses the apostle Philip to lead the Ethiopian Eunuch to Jesus—and then, apparently, teleports Philip about 30 miles away. 


Did God teleport him to his next assignment? Was it miraculous? Or was Luke just describing Philip‘s quick exit? You will not be shocked to discover that scholars are divided. 


I tend to agree with those who think it was a miraculous event. This is hardly the only instance of such miraculous transportation in the Bible. Consider when Jesus appeared to His disciples as, post crucifixion, they were gathered in locked rooms. Jesus just appeared in the midst of them.


I'm not sure what, if any, lesson we can draw from this passage. Maybe I just like that, long before science fiction raised the possibility of teleportation, long before theoretical physicists showed how it could be possible based on quantum mechanics, and long before recent experiments seem to confirm it, there is a story about it in the Bible. 


I think our takeaway is found in the “bookends” of the story. It begins with God sending Philip to proclaim the good news to someone. And how does it end? Apparently unaffected by his miraculous journey to Azotus, Philip just heads north and keeps on telling folks the good news about Jesus. 


And however we travel, isn't that always the point?


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