my name is inigo montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die

for some of you, I really do hope most of you, the above quote will raise a smile of recognition.

the princess bride is a film that raises all sorts of sweet memories for me, not least because it is one of the favourite films of a dear friend of mine and, as he was youth group leader, we were all subjected to it many times and my memories of watching this fantastic film are shrouded in a hazy cloud of hot chocolate and marshmallow scent, much laughter and God in our midst.

it's funny what a film may or may not say to you isn't it? just as much dependent on the place and people you watched it with, as to the content of the film. saying that, the content of this film is plenty enough to inspire a lifetimes repeated watching. there is love, adventure, a diamond in the rough, a princess (of course), a 'baddie', a giant, some excellent comedy moments and, in honour of the quote above, a lifetime quest.

inigo montoya was a boy when his father was killed by the six fingered man and he then spent the rest of his boyhood learning how to avenge his father's death, so that when he met the six fingered man again, he would be ready, he then spent his life searching for the six fingered man, and when he met him he said that he would say these inimitable words:

my name is inigo montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die

the idea of a lifetime quest is something that inspires us and makes us question, 'what is my lifetime quest?', what is it that I would be willing to train for, search for, die for? of course as disciples of Jesus, we might simply wish to say Jesus, or God. but what does that really mean? growing up as a gellie (that's evangelical by the way) you are told stories of those kidnapped missionaries who were forced to admit they are Christians and, therefore, choose death with their captors. these are the sort of images I have in my head of what I would be willing to die for - saying the words that I am a Christian, not denying Christ in my last moments, walking into the lions' pit with the dignity of felicity and perpetua.

and of course I think that our God is worth dying for, but it might be worth exploring what exactly I mean when I say that I believe in Jesus as God's Son and that this belief is worth spending my whole life's (and death's) quest pursuing.

to say that I believe in the God of Jesus is more than simply a belief in his existence. it is saying that I believe in the God who loves, creates, who walks with us, who redeems us, who asks us to partner with him. I believe in a God whose 'godness' means that he is open to making himself vulnerable, to taking the risk of partnering with human beings in the building of his Kingdom on earth, whose salvation is the type of salvation that is worked out in the building of a Kingdom to which all are invited. I believe in a God who has overcome violence with peace, death with life, sin with justice and brokenness with transformation.

to stand in the lions' pit alongside the bravest martyrs, I need to have set my life's quest on this God.

of course inigo montoya's life quest was built on the need for vengeance, a very poor, although compelling, purpose to a life. inigo montoya discovered that the end of a life's quest for vengeance is disatisfaction and emptiness.

nuff said really.

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