Friday, December 23, 2011

The Last Words of a King.

Near the end of J.R.R. Tolkien's magnum opus series "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King", Aragorn, the wandering ranger and true king of Gondor gives a rousing last call to fight hard and die well. He is preparing his army, which is being surrounded by an army of 10,000 orcs, to fight with everything they have until the very end, and he is willing to die on the battlefield with his men, like a true king. He yells, triumphantly,

"Sons of Gondor! Of Rohan! My brothers. I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of Men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields when the Age of Men comes crashing down, but it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!"

We, who likewise belong to a kingdom, have all heard the same call from our King: The last words that have driven His people forward for almost 2000 years.

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."

This time of year we remember how our King stepped of His throne, out of His castle and entered our pitiful village. He called men to follow him, and then led the charge against our enemies of Satan, sin, death and hell, dying on the battlefield of Golgotha, winning the fight we could not win, by giving up the life we should've given. Like a true king, he dies on the battlefield. But death couldn't hold our King. He rose to take His throne, and rule his people righteously. And as this Kingdom rule is revealed, the King declares that it must be heralded. Good news must be told of this victorious King and his Kingdom of Grace.

But I was thinking as I watched Aragorn, Gandalf, Legolas and others tear through a wall of orcs, what would have happened if Aragorn's speech had fallen on deaf ears? As they were surrounded by swarms of enemies, would they just collapse under pressure? Aragorn knew that the only way out of hell, was through it. So, what would've happened if Jesus' disciples left the mission of the Gospel behind? The most important and life-altering event in history would've passed unnoticed. We would sit, two millennia removed, knowing nothing of the salvation and kingship of Jesus Christ, and we would remain lost, wandering in a foreign and oppressive kingdom with no knowledge of the rescuing King and his Kingdom of Grace.

Don't go AWOL, move forward with the command of our good King. Tell of His great battle with death, his victory over sin, and His gracious reign and rule over all of life. Herald Him as the Great King he is, and bring His kingdom into view in all of life.

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