Story Behind Jesus in Space
by Neil MacQueen, its
I admit it... I'm a space nerd.
I grew up watching Lost in Space. Was
disappointed when they cancelled Star Trek Enterprise. Ben our
programmer and Colin our music guy are also space nuts. A
statue of Gort the Robot from The Day the Earth Stood Still
presides over our recording studio. So you might say Jesus in
Space was "predestined" to happen. ;-)
Over the years, I've had fun imagining with
students how you
might "tell this story to an alien from outer space who didn't
know anything about the Bible." It's an entertaining trick that
always gets the kids talking. In 2005, I began
scribbling notes for a series of Jesus Story CDs focused on key Jesus stories. I asked some
friends if they thought "Jesus in Space" would be considered
blasphemous by non-space-nerds. "No, it's a great idea!"
they said. And so, Jesus in Space was born.
Space is fun and intentionally campy. Look and listen closely,
--you'll see us paying homage
to various space shows and space shtick, including: Star Trek, Lost in
Space, the Jetsons, Star Wars, Close Encounters, even Spaceballs.
This 'touch' also helps older students feel like the program is
The program is a visual feast
as well. Look in the
backgrounds to see where Ben our animator/programmer has stuck
all sorts of random space gadgetry.
The aliens on Ice Moon Alpha speak a strange version of
Canadian, with a tweak of Scottish. --A tip of the hat
to my Canadian relatives. The "world tribe" motif on the planet Whammo is my very subtle tribute to my denomination's
mission history, and to one of my great great grandmothers
who was a native American. The "Jesus in the Snow" activity
goes way back to my youth group days and is one of my
all-time favorite lessons. You don't see it in materials
these days, so I'm hoping to preserve it in my own way by
putting it in software.
Other things of notice:
It's no accident that the captain of the Tarsus is named
and is guided by Great Commission Control. We thought it worked
right into the evangelistic nature of the first three stories.
Baptism, Communion with Jesus, and "how do you see Jesus today"
(Road to Emmaus). And whether
you baptize by sprinkling -or the whole pool, you'll feel
comfortable with our presentation.
may also note in JiS that
we continue to stretch our age range down a bit, --making sure our
software stretches a little easier to the younger children, as
well as up to young teens.
this, even my own teenagers have been giggling at JiS everytime I show it
to them. John the Baptist with a crab-hair coat and sucker-fish
belt will do that to you.
The older kids
will get a kick out of our space theme and sense of humor.
fans: Listen carefully to the drums on Whammo.)
A huge amount
of credit for this epic goes to Ben our programmer and
illustrator, and Colin our sound and music guy. Ben's humorous
creativity is evident everywhere in the program. Colin's
soundtrack and character voice modifications are terrific.