Earlier this month, the Jr. High held one event “to rule the them all”: Friday Night Live – Star Wars vs. Lord of the Rings. At this epic event, we enjoyed Yoda Soda and Eye of Sauron Cookies, played games with light sabers and Legolas’ bow, thought we were in the “Cantina” with our cool Star Wars Band (Pollock), reviewed lots of trivia from the movie, and watched a few exciting scenes from the movies, all in crazy costumes.
As part of the evening, we also looked at some Biblical truth we can clearly see in the movies. First, sin promises to solve all of our problems, but in the end just destroys us. Just like Adam and Eve were seduced to eat the fruit by the temptation to become like God (Genesis 3:5) which led to our spiritual and physical death, Anakin was drawn to the Dark Side by his lust for power and the promise to save his beloved Padme, but in the end he burns in lava and becomes the more machine than man (Vader). Similarly, the Ring leaves in its wake a path of deception and destruction, as Smeagol is drawn by the beauty of the Ring and the identity he finds in “my precious”, and Boromir desires the power of the Ring to defend Gondor. However, in the end, the seduction of the Ring leads to both of their deaths. We see this same truth in the world around us and in our own lives. We must be keenly aware that sin is constantly lying to us and promising solutions while really bringing destruction. The wages of sin is truly death (Romans 6:23).
Second, we looked at how sin corrupts and tempts us all. We read in the Bible, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), and clearly see this truth with the Ring. All characters who come in contact with the Ring are drawn to and seduced by its power. The whole “Fellowship” starts because they each know that they cannot be trusted with sole possession of the Ring; however, it breaks up because they each know their behaviors are not safe around the Ring. Even Gandalf turns away in fear when he is offered the Ring because he knows he cannot handle its temptation. As we look into our own lives, it is clear that sin is something we each face daily and will continue to face until eternity.
Finally, while the first two truths are kind of depressing, we have seen the end of the movies and know that a Savior always comes. When it looks like Vader will blow up Luke’s X-Wing, in comes Han Solo in the Millennial Falcon. When the Battle of Helm’s Deep seems lost, Gandalf comes in with the Riders of Rohan. After Obi-wan and Anakin have been defeated by Count Dooku, Yoda pulls out his light saber. And even though Sam can’t carry the Ring, he can carry Frodo. In the same way, “just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly…God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6-8) Especially as we reflect on Easter, praise be to God for sending His Son, because without Him we would be hopeless.
At the end of the evening, we voted which series was more epic. In a vote even closer than the 2000 Presidential election, Star Wars won by two votes, even after a full recount. So if you are ever in a debate as to which is better, the decision has been made.
Many thanks to Pollock (Jesse Trask’s Band), Jason VanDorsten, Aaron Reed, Catherine Wilson, Sarah Jarvis, Elizabeth Johnstone, Kelly Hack, Mason Nalle, John Lyver, Denna Zimmerman, and the many others who helped. Please be in prayer for the six Jr. Highers who indicated decisions for Christ that night.
“Be hospitable to one another without complaint. As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified by Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
~1 Peter 4:9-11
God mandates Believers to represent the Gospel of Christ by using the gifts He has given for service to one another (1 Peter 4:9-11). Service to one another is a means of growing in our knowledge of Christ (as we serve others, we serve Christ Himself – Matthew 25:40) and an opportunity to make Christ known to others (John 13:35).
While there are always opportunities to serve at RBC, we have a unique opportunity coming up to make Christ known in Northern Virginia through Conversations. Conversations is our annual production the week before Easter in which music, dramas, and real life stories are blended together into a cohesive performance where the Gospel of Jesus Christ is creatively and clearly presented. It is the perfect opportunity for many people to hear and reflect on truth in a comfortable, fun, and non-awkward environment.
As we prepare for Conversations, we need to make sure we are equipped to care for our guests, showing them the value and respect they deserve. We are to show guests hospitality (Hebrews 13:2) with the hope that Christ will break down walls in their lives to enable them to respond to the truth of the Gospel.
There are still many ways to serve for Conversations – through prayer, baking, ushering, greeting, nursery/childcare, and meals for the cast and crew. Please consider how you can participate in the Gospel of Christ through serving others in Conversations this year!
For more information on Conversations: www.restonbible.org/converstations
To register to volunteer online, click here.
REMEMBER THE GOSPEL: Reflections on the Lord’s Supper from 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
I just finished listening to Leighann Marquiss share her family’s story (God’s story) of their son, Ryan. What a great God we serve! Leighann said, “…During this time, I realized that God doesn’t only love me to get me to heaven – God loves me today, where I am. ” This reminded me again of the power of the Gospel to impact us in our everyday life, no matter the situation.
Two times in 1 Cor. 11:23-26, Jesus tells his disciples, “Do this in remembrance of me.” What, specifically, does Jesus want us to remember in the partaking of communion? For many years, I thought He wanted me to reflect on and remember His suffering and death. While true, this is not the complete answer. Jesus didn’t just say “this is my body” but “this is my body which is for you; do this in remembrance of me”. Jesus is not just saying “remember my death,” but “remember my death, which is for you.” In short, He is saying remember the Gospel. Likewise, in reference to His shed blood, He didn’t tell us to just remember His shed blood, but to remember His shed blood and what it accomplished, the New Covenant. In short, He is saying remember what I have done for you – remember the Gospel.
We could spend an eternity reflecting on the depths of the Gospel and I trust we will, but for the sake of my fingers (and the fact that dinner is just about ready), let me highlight a few truths of the Gospel. We who have placed our trust in Christ, are:
- Loved by God (always)
- Forgiven (always)
- Righteous in His sight (always)
- Cared for by Him (always)
- The apple of His eye (always)
- Never abandoned by Him (never)
- Never away from His presence (never)
- His children (always)
- Brothers/sisters of the Lord (always)
- Indwelt/empowered by the Spirit of God (always)
This is good news. Scratch that – this is great news. Often times, we (myself included) fall woefully short in seeing and believing the Gospel for our daily lives. The result is that we do not experience the power of the Gospel on a daily basis. Yes, we see the relevance of Christ’s death on the cross for our salvation and our future departure from this world, but what about the time in between? Twice in four verses, the Lord tells his disciples, remember the Gospel, remember what I have done for you. Just as the Gospel impacted Leighann where she “was”, the power of the Gospel can and will impact us where “we are” right now.
Remember and believe the Gospel.