Sunday, March 26, 2017
Sunday Message: Going to Trenzalore
Ten: I won’t remember either so you might as well tell me.
The Doctor: Tell you what?
Ten: Where it is we’re going that you don’t want to talk about.
The Doctor: I saw Trenzalore. Where we’re buried. We die in battle among millions.
Ten: That’s not how it’s supposed to be.
The Doctor: That’s how the story ends. Nothing we can do about it. Trenzalore is where you’re going.
Ten: Oh, never say nothing. Anyway, good to know my future is in safe hands. Keep a tight hold on it, Clara.
Clara: On it.
Ten: Trenzalore. We need a new destination, because… I don’t wanna go.
“I assure you: When you were young, you would tie your belt and walk wherever you wanted. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will tie you and carry you where you don’t want to go.” John 21:18
In a bygone age, when you were about to meet your end, they said you were heading for your Waterloo. For Doctor Who fans, the destination is now Trenzalore. And it struck me that both Peter and Paul ended up at their personal Trenzalore- Rome. The place they knew they would die. And while we know precious little about Peter's trip, we know that Paul didn't fear the journey- in fact, he demanded it.
…11If, however, I am guilty of anything worthy of death, I do not refuse to die. But if there is no truth to their accusations against me, no one can hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar!” 12Then Festus conferred with his council and replied, “You have appealed to Caesar. To Caesar you will go!” Acts 25:11
What was it that made these two real heroes willing to go where the fictional ones feared to tread? Because they knew that where they went, where they had the opportunity to go, Christ was leading them. He had a job for them, in that moment, and they had a DESIRE to do it. You would almost want to say, in man's understanding, that they knew they were the ONLY men for the job....
But that wouldn't be true.
They thing that triggered this thought-line was the story of Esther. Sometimes a person wonders what this book, the only one in the Bible to not directly mention God, is even doing in the cannon. It is a particularly Jewish book, not really a doctrinal book, and such was the reason 1 and 2 Maccabees were bounced from the Protestant text. But there is one crucial verse, upon which the whole book swings, which is the true core of this book. And that is when Mordecai asks Esther to go to Trenzalore:
7 And Mordecai told him of all that had happened unto him, and of the sum of the money that Haman had promised to pay to the king's treasuries for the Jews, to destroy them.
8 Also he gave him the copy of the writing of the decree that was given at Shushan to destroy them, to shew it unto Esther, and to declare it unto her, and to charge her that she should go in unto the king, to make supplication unto him, and to make request before him for her people.
9 And Hatach came and told Esther the words of Mordecai.
10 Again Esther spake unto Hatach, and gave him commandment unto Mordecai;
11 All the king's servants, and the people of the king's provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or women, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live: but I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days.
12 And they told to Mordecai Esther's words.
13 Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king's house, more than all the Jews.
14 For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
We all face points at which we have the choice to do that "something extra" for God; and many times, we tell ourselves, "Well, there are others more qualified to do this, get out of the way and let them do it." But, what if this is the reason we are led to such a position- God giving us the chance TO do the thing? It wasn't that Peter or Paul HAD to die in Rome or the Church would collapse; God would have chosen another for the honor. But they wanted to do it, for, as Paul put it, the prize that awaited them.
When the Doctor at last went to his Trenzalore, he got an unexpected gift- 12 more lives. When we face our Trenzalore, we add "prizes" TO our eternity. The apostles looked past the current fame to what awaited ahead. They trusted Jesus, and He TOLD them what waited ahead was better. And OUR Trenzalore doesn't even have to be about death, or pain. It can be as simple as showing Christ in Your life to someone else. Don't be afraid to go!