The current frenzy over Sunday night’s series finale of the HBO blockbuster, “Game of Thrones” has taken on a life of its own on social media, talk shows, newscasts….it is everywhere. Whether you are a fan, a proud “I’ve never seen it” type, or somewhere in between, the power it had over the imagination of today’s society cannot be denied.
The short version of the eight year series is a struggle to see who of the Seven Kingdoms would ultimately rule the Iron Throne. Many wars and three dragons later, the series ends with the naming of an unlikely successor. The character Tyrion Lannister, who has served as the de facto narrator of what has really been happening all along, says this:
“What unites people? Armies? Gold? Flags? No. Its stories.”
“There’s nothing in the world more powerful than a good story. Nothing can stop it. No enemy can defeat it. And who has a better story than Bran the Broken? The boy who fell from a high tower and lived… He’s our memory. The keeper of all our stories. The wars, weddings, births, massacres, famines, our triumphs, our defeats, our past. Who better to lead us into the future?”
This “breaking of the fourth wall”-like moment, where a character seems to pull away from the scene to speak directly to the audience, sums Game of Thrones up beautifully. It was just a story, folks. And nothing is more powerful than a good story.
I love stories, and story telling. Stories have been part of my life since my mother read to me every night in my bed as a child. I raised my girls with stories, and this love of story has been passed from generation to generation in my family. Stories allow us to escape, imagine something better, find both courage and wings, and reveal truths we otherwise might not observe about ourselves and the world around us.
Tyrion was right. Almost. Game of Thrones was a great story with an unlikely king at the end, but the greatest story of all time was Jesus on the cross. Born of a unwed virgin, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried….but on the third day: oh, on the third day! He rose again! He is the unlikeliest of kings, but he was born to reign from the beginning of all creation. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men of earth can’t compare to the story of the salvation of mankind:
Jesus’ throne is a throne of GRACE. Jesus’ throne is a throne of power over evil. His throne will reign forever, for he is the King of Kings. And his throne is a mercy seat.
So come before his throne, and lay down all your troubles and cares, your failures and disappointments, your triumphs and your sins. Nothing else in life is worth bowing down to, except the one true King. And that, my friend, is the greatest story, for all eternity.
Loving and Gracious God,
How have I put so many things on the throne in your place? Forgive me. All the things in the world that tempt me, all that glitters and shines, everything that distracts me that I worship in your place are things not worthy of your throne room. Draw me up onto your mercy seat, and change me forever. I bend the knee only to you. AMEN