In the year 2000, Ridley Scott directed the movie Gladiator. It is an action packed film, with hair-raising moments, that makes you hold your breath when it gets extreme! Today at our staff meeting our associate pastor started talking about a conference he had been to where the head speaker talked about the arena fight scene. I really loved the analogy used and so I decided to elaborate on it for my worship moment today.

The scene is set, the gladiators have been brought into the arena to fight. They look prepared for battle. They have full body armor, shields and swords in their hands. A look of uncertainty is on their faces. “What danger looms behind the gates?” is probably the biggest question on their minds. Then, in an instant, the gates are opened and chariots with warriors on them come bounding into the arena. There is chaos all around the gladiators. A voice rises above the noise and says, “As one!” Instantly they all join together as one group, one body, locking their shields and are able to fight off the approaching enemies.

It is such an intense scene, kind of like life sometimes, minus the death and dismemberment. We are suited up in the armor of God, ready for the battle ahead. Before we even get out the door the first attack can happen. Our kids haven’t gotten out of bed yet and it’s now time to run out the door. Or maybe the boss texts and tells you that report due tomorrow is now due today. Maybe the dog actually ate your homework! Whatever it is, life has a way of creeping in on our ability to feel protected. Little by little we feel the weight of the world pressing in on us. The armor begins to feel heavy, and instead of trusting that God’s got us, we step out from His protection and try to take on the enemy.

We know that the battle is not ours to fight, yet at times we rush into the arena of life and single-handedly try to take on the approaching enemy. A few swings in and our minds can be overrun with negative thoughts that tear us down. Imagine this: as you are getting attacked another Christian nearby yelled out, “As One!” and every believer around began to pray for you. Whatever situation was about to come crashing in on you is now deflected by the faith of your brothers and sisters in Christ around you! Granted, if it actually happened with someone yelling out, there could be a scene of a different kind. But think about the meaning. We are supposed to be there for each other as brothers and sisters in Christ!

When Paul was in prison the Christians were connected to him because of their faith in Jesus. They had to keep the “as one” mentality so that they could keep going. The battle certainly wasn’t over. Many Romans wanted them all dead! They knew that Paul was willing to die for the risen Christ. They must have felt empowered in the midst of their fear, knowing that they would be together in eternity. They didn’t allow the brutality of the life around them to separate them from the promise of the Father!

We were created to be in community with each other, to love and honor one another. We each should be putting on the armor of God each day so that collectively we can put our shields of faith together! Imagine if we worshiped this way, “As One.” One body, praising one God, together in His house! We are God’s people, and He sent His Son for all to know His love. If we go into the world together, armored up in the Father, speaking about the Son, Jesus will be put on display in a mighty way! 1 Corinthians 1:10 says, “I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but you be perfectly united in mind and thought.”

We are…. “As One!”

Have a blessed Holy Week.
Kristin Tucker
Director of Worship Arts