“Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side, my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.” – Abraham Lincoln
“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” – Matthew 6:24 (King James Version)
Today, I saw “Valkyrie.” It was a good film in spite of its 2 ½ Stars rating. The low rating may be attributed to Tom Cruise’s currently bruised (due to his religion or for jumping on Oprah’s couch) reputation or misplaced political correctness (hypersensitivity to the historical treatment of Nazism). Beside Tom Cruise, the film utilized a team of very good German actors – who appeared in Oliver Hirschbiegel’s “Der Untergang” (the most historically accurate WWII film – foreign or domestic) and Spike Lee’s “Miracle at St. Anna” (based on African Americans’ underappreciated contribution to the Allied effort in WWII). Anyway, I wish to explore the film’s two main themes (both related): being on the right side and choosing between two masters.
The film’s former theme is based on the fence sitters and coup plotters making sure they’re on the right side. What is the right side? In the film, the right side is the political (feel free to substitute it with economic or religious as per current affairs) ideology maintaining or gaining power via might. The film’s latter theme is based on when the main characters were forced (by circumstance or compulsion) to choose between two masters. The film proved the Biblical adage – “You cannot serve two masters.”
Taken together, the two themes forced us to ask ourselves – do we sacrifice our soul for our body? Do we sacrifice our honor for instant gratification? Do we sacrifice the long term goals for the short term goals? Do we sacrifice our soul for the whole world? Do we sacrifice eternal Heavenly Paradise for a temporary earthly paradise? Like Peter, do we deny an intimate relationship with our Master for self preservation? Like Judas, do we betray our Master for nationalistic (including economic and religious) patriotism? Do we serve money or do we serve God? Do we worship Caesar or do we worship God? In spite of the economy and the interesting times (in Chinese, interesting times mean serious times or a time of calamity or tribulation) we are experiencing, do we sacrifice worshiping God in Spirit and in truth for conducting commerce with the Holy Temple’s money changers?
Again, what is the right side?
In Abraham Lincoln’s words – The right side is on God’s side because God is always right. Better yet, this author states that the right side is on God’s side – His Son’s side. Yeah, it is always best for us to be by His pierced side – left or right. After all, why do we celebrate Christmas?
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight…”