St Johns Lutheran Church Willow Creek

Connecting People to Jesus in Rural Minnesota

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Ronin

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Pastor John Bennett
Spoiler Alert! Some of the content of this post will make its way into Sunday’s sermon. If you don’t mind a preview, keep reading!

 

Yesterday I finally got a chance to watch the movie “47 Ronin.” It was refreshing for once to watch an action-packed movie that was void of the profanity, nudity, and bloody gore that is so prevalent in much of the garbage that Hollywierd has peddled in recent memory. Even though the film was filled with a lot of sword play, there was very little, if any, blood. It’s nice to be able to watch a “guy movie” without feeling like you need to take a shower or go to confession afterward. Even Kerrie enjoyed watching it!

The movie is based on events that took place in 18th Century feudal Japan. As the movie explains in the first few minutes, Ronin was a title for a samurai who had failed their master, or whose master had died. The word itself means wanderer, a man without a home, and many Ronin lived the remainder of their lives as mercenaries or hired muscle for criminal enterprises. Because the title was one of shame some chose to follow the samurai code of bushido, ending their life with a ritualistic suicide considered to be an honorable death.

So what does any of this have to do with our lives as Christians? Because our Master is one who has died, we live as wanderers, as sojourners. The unbelieving world despises us, for the unbelieving world murdered our Master. To the unbelieving world we have no place with them. But our sojourning is one of faith. Though our Master is one who was indeed crucified, His honorable death was for our redemption, to win us back from the false master of this world, to claim us as His own, to make us eternal citizens of His unending kingdom.

And unlike those ancient samurai, our Master, our Lord Jesus Christ, conquered death, was raised again and lives eternally. Though the world considers our devotion to our Master as a disgrace, we count it as an honor, for when our pilgrimage, our earthly wandering comes to an end, He welcomes us not as those to do His bidding but as those who will reign forever with Him. I’ll take my Master any day over that of the world!

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