Tuesday, November 24, 2015


I LIKE THE INDIANA JONES MOVIES (except for the snakes!  “Snakes! Why did it have to be snakes?!”) My favorite of the movies is The Last Crusade not just because the religious and sacramental overtones, but because we are introduced to Indie’s dad, one of my favorite actors, James Bond!  Oh wait, I mean Sean Connery. When he appeared I just about cheered, thankfully Linda held me in my seat.  Anyway, back to the movie.
Toward the end of the movie, in which they are searching for the Holy Grail, (of course the Germans are also searching for it, too!), they discover its resting place and after going through a number of hair-raising puzzles to get to it, they arrive at the sacred room, where there are hundreds of goblets that could be the one. All of these goblets, from the ornate to the simple, were guarded by one of the Knights Templar, which had been there for hundreds of years (remember this is Indiana Jones.)
At this point Indiana and the Antagonist are trying to determine which goblet among the hundreds is in fact the true Holy Grail. As they search among the cups the knight declares, “Choose wisely, for the correct cup will bring life, while the wrong cup will bring death.” The nemesis of Indiana determines that a jewel encrusted goblet, one fit for a king, is the true Holy Grail. He takes it, dips it into a basin of water and drinks deeply. Yes, it was the wrong cup and soon a terrible death envelops him.
Now, it is Indie’s turn, scanning over the cups he noticed in the back a rough hewn wooden chalice. He muses, “This is a cup of a carpenter.” He dips this cup into the basin of water, and with slight hesitation drinks it all.  Yes, this is the cup that brings life. And the story continues  . . . you’ll have to check out the movie.
The responsibility to “choose wisely” is always before us. There are many jewel-encrusted cups that can grab our attention away from that which is the true cup. One cup subtracts from our life, the other brings life.
We are too often drawn to what we think is good, only to find out it robs us of the good.  Maybe it is choosing to attend sports games on Sundays that keeps us from worshiping within the community of the redeemed.  It could be choosing the comforts of our couch rather than standing up to serve in the church or in the community in the Name of Christ. Possibly it is choosing to grab at that cup of wealth that promises to bring life, instead of giving your wealth away to those who have less than a wooden vessel to drink from, or worse, drink filth-ladened water.
We may each say that we are searching for the One who is The Life, and our choices declare otherwise.  Here is my encouragement to you, not only in this Advent season but throughout the coming years, choose wisely and find life for yourself and for others.

What cup do you hold in your hand? Is it the cup of this material culture, or is it the cup of the Master? My prayer for you is that your actions and your attitude show that you have taken the steps to prove that you did choose wisely.

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