Digging in Deeper: Matthew 20:25-28

“Jesus called them over and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those in high positions act as tyrants over them. It must not be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

This coming Sunday, Lord willing (and on here Monday), we are going to be talking about Paul’s words to the Ephesian church about marriage. One of the ideas he introduces there is that, in the Christian view of marriage, the husband is the head of the wife. Today is not going to be about that at all (stay tuned for Monday). Instead, something I’m going to say in an attempt to explain what this looks like through the lens of the Christian worldview as opposed to the lens of the world prompted another thought. I want to explore this in a bit more detail today than I will on Sunday as I offer a review of the latest Star Wars series on Disney+: Andor.

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Digging in Deeper: Hebrews 3:12-13

“Watch out, brothers and sisters, so that there won’t be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage each other daily, while it is still called today, so that none of you is hardened by sin’s deception.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Let’s start with a quick pop culture quiz: Who is the hero of the Star Wars film franchise? That’s a trick question, of course. There are several possible answers, and if you find yourself on the right fandom website, it could spark hours of vigorous debate. But if you were going to have to pick just one, who would it be? I’d personally lean in the direction of Luke Skywalker, but I could be persuaded otherwise. However you answer that question, though, do you know who you’re probably not choosing? The franchise’s most popular character. There are two primary contenders for that particular distinction and neither of them were heroes. In fact, one of them is one of the chief villains: Darth Vader. But while Vader’s story ultimately has an heroic arc (which, I believe, is a big part of why he is so popular), it begins in tragedy. Seeing someone succumb to what Star Wars calls “the dark side” is always tragic. Having made his second case about the greatness of Christ, the author of Hebrews here offers us another warning. This time it is essentially to not succumb to the dark side. Let’s talk about it.

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Stepping into the Current

Have you ever had that sense that something big was coming; that God was preparing you to do or experience something incredible? As summer comes and a whole variety of experiences come with it, you just may have that sense in your own life. Here are some thoughts on how to respond to it so you can experience the full wonder of God’s plans unfolding in and through your life.

Stepping into the Current

A great many adventure movies all have one thing in common. They all involve a search for a MacGuffin. Now, if you’re an action movie fan, you might be wondering exactly which movies I’m talking about and whether you’ve missed something called a MacGuffin in all of them. Well, a MacGuffin isn’t a real thing. Rather, it’s a lot of different things depending on the plot. A MacGuffin is a plot device in a story that in the context of the story itself is of vital importance, but in the real world is meaningless. For instance, one of the most famous MacGuffins in film history is the little droid R2-D2. In the original Star Wars movie, R2-D2 represents the thing the characters need to find in order to achieve their goal. Specifically, it has the plans to the Death Star (loaded onto it thanks to the efforts of the Rogue One crew as we learned a few years ago), the Rebels need to destroy the planet-killing star base. BB-8 fulfilled this role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

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Overcoming the World

Last week we ended things on a cliffhanger. God was allowing a terrible unfair injustice in Stephen’s death to happen without any apparent consequences for the people who perpetuated it. Why would He do that? Why does He allow the hard times we face in our own lives to happen the way they do? This week offers not so much an answer as an invitation to a bigger perspective. Let’s talk about it together.

Overcoming the World

Can I safely assume that everyone here has seen or at least knows the basic plot outline of the original Star Wars movie? I’m not sure if George Lucas had his vision completely laid out when he made the first film, but it was released as entry number four of a nine-part series. Who starts a 9-part series with episode number 4? George Lucas apparently. And, it’s has made him a very rich man, so there you go. Now, sure, episodes 1, 2, and 3 are all pretty much abominations (especially episode 1), but maybe that’s why he started with episode 4. Who knows?

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