I don’t see a lot of movies and I don’t really have a favourite movie but I do have a movie character I would like to play. I would love to play an EWOK. If you have never heard of Ewok’s they appeared in Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi and they are teddy bear looking creatures that live on the forest moon of Endor. They sling stones, live in tree houses, are slightly uncoordinated and generally dance around having a great time.
And they are small. About the size of a five-year-old with the same weak strength. So when they fight the mighty metallic ferocious Imperial Forces you get the feeling it is going to end badly.
But their size and behaviour belies reality. For when they work together, they are powerful and strong and bring down the Imperial Force allowing the Rebels to… well I won’t give the storyline away but a small army of teddy bears with a few other oddbods defeat a platoon of bad guys and then hold a massive party.
When you look at an Ewok, you cannot see how powerful it is.
Similarly, when you look at the church, you cannot see how powerful it is. And that is because the church (and I am talking about us) has at its core the God of the universe, the one who holds the universe in his hands. Our power does not come from us, our power comes from God who has all authority both in the world, in the church and over you. The church, the gathered people of God, looks very odd, and at times very weak, but it is very powerful.
I have often pondered the reality that God chooses to work in the world through a weak, careless, thoughtless, disorganised and ramshackle group of people just like you and me. And yet the story of the church is a story of triumph, because Jesus sits at the centre of the church.
We are living in a time when it appears that the “church” is under threat. We must hear these words correctly. The institutions that support churches and some people who run churches are under threat for the way they have done evil, dealt with people badly and not put the call of God as their first priority. The freedom of the church is under threat because of the way society wants to limit the rights of voices who disagree with the liberal progressive agenda. But the church is not under threat.
The church is God’s people who listen to Christ, trust Christ, live for Christ, speak of Christ and call others to follow Christ. And we can never be defeated for Christ is our King and he reigns from heaven awaiting the moment he will be called to come again and judge the world. There is no power who can defeat him and therefore there is no power that can defeat us as his people.
The only real threat to the church is us. Will we, as those who are the church, continue to listen to Christ, trust Christ, live for Christ, speak of Christ and call others to follow Christ.
I pray we will.