(Quantum) Leap of Faith

NBC this fall launched a reboot of the late 80’s early 90’s cult classic “Quantum Leap” TV series. As did the original, the sequel features a scientist helplessly bouncing around the past by leaping into the lives of other people. To leap out he needs to “make right what once went wrong.” He usually has just a few days’ time in which he can dramatically impact someone’s life.

In the original series, we are told that Dr. Sam Becket is being leaped around by “God or time or something.” There has been no mention of God so far in the update. Yet, the show’s concept reminds me of how God works in the lives of believers who allow Him to have His way with them:

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let our light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven. Matthew 5:13-16 (NIV)

The verses in this passage are famously known as “the salt and light” passages. In them, Jesus essentially explains why God created us. Salt was a precious commodity in the ancient world. In addition to human consumption, it was used for food preservation and fertilizer, among other things. Jesus’ audience would have understood that being compared with salt meant that we are to lead lives that impact other lives in productive and positive ways. Through this we give glory to God. Through this we fulfill our purpose as children of God: to be the image bearers of Jesus. By loving others and putting them first, the love of Jesus that lives in us shines through us.

And like Dr. Sam Beckett and Dr. Ben Song, the time travelers in “Quantum Leap,” sometimes we are given just a brief period to be “salt and light” by profoundly impacting someone’s life. The key is to be attentive to the opportunities God provides.

We recently received a call from a woman who was trying to reach a church with a similar sounding name.  Rather than tell her she had the wrong number, we engaged her and have been able to help her. We don’t know how long her season with us will be. But we are blessed that we’ve been able to be the salt and the light in her life, including sharing the gospel with her.

When we continually surrender our lives to God, to the purpose for which He created us, then our desire and opportunities to be salt and light will grow. When we stray from the purpose for which we were created, we lose our saltiness. No time travel device is necessary to preserve it. God’s grace is all you need to bear a stronger family resemblance to Jesus each day by living for the benefit of others, rather than our own.

— Pastor Jerry Bader

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