Rose Tyler: Look at you, beaming away like you’re Father Christmas!
The Doctor: Who says I’m not?. . . red-bicycle-when-you-were-twelve?
Rose Tyler: What?
But the thing I like most about this story is that the Doctor gets a day when “everybody lives!” For this once he does not have to compromise or sacrifice someone for the greater good. So what is the threat to humanity this time round? Well, if you have forgotten, the problem is that some clever little nanogenes, (escaped from a Chula medical transporter – hijacked by Captain Jack) are trying to convert people to match the form of a wandering, dead child, killed during an air raid. This un-dead child has the power to transform anyone he touches, to match his un-dead state.
DOCTOR: Getting it now, are we? When the ship crashes, the nanogenes escape. Billions upon billions of them, ready to fix all the cuts and bruises in the whole world. But what they find first is a dead child, probably killed earlier that night, and wearing a gasmask. . . They do what they’re programmed to do. They patch it up. Can’t tell what’s gasmask and what’s skull, but they do their best. Then off they fly, off they go, work to be done. Because, you see, now they think they know what people should look like, and it’s time to fix all the rest. And they won’t ever stop. They won’t ever, ever stop. The entire human race is going to be torn down and rebuilt in the form of one terrified child looking for its mother, and nothing in the world can stop it!”
But when the child finally approaches (with that ominous question “Are you my mummy?”) mother Nancy courageously embraces him. The cloud of “clever little nanogenes” surrounds them and figures out that she is the mother. Instead of making her dead they repair the child.
DOCTOR: Oh, come on. Give me a day like this. Give me this one. . . .The nanogenes recognised the superior information, the parent DNA. They didn’t change you because you changed them! Ha-ha! Mother knows best!”
And “everybody lives” – with relatively little effort from the Doctor.
For the sake of this bluebox parable I’d like to focus your attention on the way our heavenly Father changes us, by a remarkably similar process. To explain this I’ll take you to a concept I recently discovered in Tim Chester’s book “You can change“ (2008):
“Without Jesus we can never really break free from sin’s grip. But Jesus came to set us free from sin and destroy Satan’s power. He’s begun a process in us that will end with our becoming like God: ‘now we are children of God . . . we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is’. That process isn’t yet complete, so we still fall into sin. But we’re no longer enslaved by sin. We can change.
More than that, John says holiness has now been written into our DNA! . . . Not-sinning is in our DNA . . . Love is in our DNA.
As I grow older, I look more like my father. It’s not that I’m making a special effort to look like him. It’s in my genes. It’s the same, says John, with our heavenly Father. John didn’t know about DNA so he uses the word ‘seed’. . . When we were born we received a nature with an in-built tendency towards sin. When we were born of God we received a new nature with an in-built tendency towards holiness.”
(p. 61) (You can also watch a clip about the book here)
So just like those clever nanogenes, the parent DNA of God surrounds us and works in us (in the form of his Holy Spirit) to make us like Him! He brings us from death to life, he repairs our sinful selves, and over time transforms us into the likeness of his Son.