By David Holford
Christ Community Church
Most video games today have amazing graphics, displaying tremendous violence while stirring the emotions with compelling soundtracks. The hand-eye coordinating skills they develop in the manipulation of complex control pads are amazing.
However, being a man of a certain age, my children, with some embarrassment, can tell you that I primarily enjoy a video game, which uses 8-bit graphics to hearken back to a simpler time. It’s called Crossy Road. It is a suped up version of the old 1980’s arcade game Frogger.
I never was one for Frogger back in the day. I did not think it worthy of my twenty-five cents in the arcade at the bowling alley. But as an app on my Kindle, Crossy Road is a different story.
Now I can’t say that Crossy Road is without its violence. The object is to keep the character crossing highly trafficked roads, railroad tracks with oncoming trains, and rivers by mean of stepping on floating logs, without making a fatal step. The further in the journey, the more skill is required, as the dangers appear quicker. And regardless of how many steps one takes, there will be that one misstep.
And that, my friends, is the Christian life in a nutshell.
The player of Crossy Road then has a choice. They can say “enough” and shut down the game. Or they can pick up and start playing again. After that one misstep, the game immediately resets. The journey is ready to begin again, across busy roads and all the other dangers.
God’s grace is our reset after every misstep, whether it is a sin, or an unwise choice, or something that seems to appear quickly out of nowhere and there’s just not enough time to hop out of the way.
He is the restorer when life goes splat.
Crossy Road has all sorts of characters that play in a variety of environments – “worlds” in the video game parlance. The principles of the game are still the same.
Whatever world you live in, whatever sort of character you are, there are three things you can count on: there are obstacle and dangers, you will go splat, and God’s grace is there for the journey to continue.
There’s one way that Crossy Road differs from real life. When it seems you may have played the game for the last time, there will be a transition to a hidden new world where there’s no more splat.
It may start with a brief pause that in Christian parlance is called “heaven”. However the journey will continue in a way beyond our imagination, in what we summarize in the Nicene Creed as the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.
That is our home world, as in the well-known lyrics of the hymn writer John Newton:
Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come, Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home.