Powerful Friendships

So yesterday, I was lucky enough to go with a handful of our high school youth to see the new Power Rangers movie. I’ll admit,  I was excited when the youth asked if we could go, but being a fan of the early TV Show, I was nervous about how well done the movie would be.

I was blown away! I did have my fan-girl “geek-out” moments, but I was impressed with everything! I don’t see this as a movie that will win any awards, but it was fun, it brought me back to my elementary and middle school days with my big brother, and it made me think about my faith.

I can hear the question already, “Your faith?”

Yes, my faith. After all, I was with my high school youth for a youth group outing. (Beware: There may be spoiler alerts below!)

Throughout the movie, there is a theme of friendship. How do these 5 young people who happen to be in the same place at the same time and have this one thing in common that has changed them, allow themselves to become friends? Can you relate?
What about youth group? Do we have a group of 10-12 people that maybe have seen each other around but have shown up at the same place (at church) at the same time (youth group) and have this one thing (JESUS)!) in common? The 5 power rangers had to work on their relationships between each other. It took work, time, vulnerability, practice, and a conscious choice. It didn’t happen just because they wanted it to and it didn’t happen because they had spent so much time together. It didn’t even happen after they sat around the campfire and went to those dark secrets we don’t talk about. They had to make the choice to open up with each other, to show up and to work at it.

But it still wasn’t easy. It wasn’t until they realized what Jesus taught us about friendship in John 15:13 – “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” It took each of them to understand they had to be willing to die for the other before they were truly ready to access their full potential and put on the armor they needed for the battle.

This isn’t an easy thing, to be a friend. It takes work, it takes time, it takes being open and vulnerable about things you may not want to share, it means trying again even when you’ve been hurt or you have failed as a friend. It is difficult, but amazing things can happen when we finally get it right. Like in the movie, when they create the “megazord”, they didn’t know that was going to be the result. And even when they had this awesome thing, they had to figure out the logistics, it didn’t just happen. In fact, they fell flat on their face! This can happen with us too. We cannot, however, let it keep us from trying. Because when we work together we can accomplish greater things than we could ever do alone.

Every day our youth, and even the young adults, adults, and retirees around us, venture into a world full of battles. Do we have friendships with people who are willing to give their life for ours? Are we in relationships that we are willing to give up our lives for them? Are we helping those in our life to be victorious in life, or do we do only enough that we all just survive? What is your part to play in this game of life? Is there someone in your life who could use a good friend?

Dear God,
We are blessed to have you at work in our relationships. Help us to strive for relationships where you are present and to not shy away from the failings that ultimately comes from close ties, but to work through them to feel the strength that comes through your healing. Help us to reach out to those who are missing friendships in their day to day lives and to seek out those who we can be victorious in life together. In your the name of your Son, who laid down his life for all people. Amen

(Note: I think next week, I’ll talk about Power Rangers in the midst of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians about one body, many parts.)

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