Lord of The Rings


Whoo Hoo – we finished the book of Mark Saturday! We started our journey thru Mark back in August and it has finally come to an end. As we reflected on the final verses of the book, we were struck with the importance of our task. And as I look back on the journey, it occurs to me that it has been very much like the “Lord of The Rings” movie. A stretch? Perhaps, but stay with me.


Like the movie(s), Mark jumps from one sub-plot to another at a rapid pace, each having something to do with the overall theme. In the movie(s), it’s about the ring. The adventures of Frodo and Sam; the crisis of conscious experienced by Gollum are intriguing and mesmerizing, but in the end, it’s all about the ring and its potential impact upon the world. Whether they survive, whether they succeed is only important as it relates to the ring.

The same can be said of the book of Mark. With Mark it isn’t about a ring or some other artifact, it’s about a person. Everything in the book points to this person, who he is, what he does, and why he does it. That person is Jesus Christ, and in the end it is only about Jesus Christ and his impact upon the world. The movie does a great job of keeping the bigger story present and relevant to the minor story being played out at the time. As I listened to our discussion about the end of Mark, I came to the conclusion that perhaps I had not done a good enough job keeping the bigger story present and relevant as we observed the sub-plots through-out the book.


I say that because it was apparent in our discussion that there was a thread of legalism throughout; that is; the notion that we have to do certain things and we have to do them a certain way; the notion that somehow the details were more important than the bigger story. Let me be clear; it is not about the details! Having rhythm in your life, speaking to neighbors or co-workers are details of a much bigger story… the story of God, thru Christ, compensating for the world – reuniting it to Himself.


The Lord of the Rings; what a great movie…  a great series of movies. The illustrations within it for the life of faith are worth the price all by themselves.  But here’s the thing; we’re in a bigger story, a better story, with far greater implications. And we are all a part of it, whether we recognize, acknowledge, or respond to it or not. His-Story unfolds before us each day; lives hang in the balance.

I’m part of the Community Emergency Response Team for my city. We are first responders during emergencies, and our goal is to help as many people as we can as safely as we can. There are many details to cover in affecting that outcome, but the details are not the point. They only serve to meet the greater good of saving lives. As followers of Jesus, we are very much like first responders, or at least we should be. There are people in need all around us. How will you respond? What role will you play?

Here is a surprising view of evangelism from a surprising source, Penn Jillette, self-avowed atheist: