There is a new Bourne movie coming our way, and my wife and I cannot wait. Jason Bourne is one of my favorite action movie heroes for lots of reasons. He is humble. He never quits. He can do just about anything. And he is always the underdog, hopelessly outmatched, but able to find a way through. Aside from the character, the music always great, the acting is top notch, the cinematics are flawless, and the greater story arc pushes the individual movies. They are really great movies.
There is one type of scene which has featured in each of the movies about Jason Bourne, and it ties directly into Christian living: improvised weapons.
You may remember how in the first movie, The Bourne Identity, we all watched in stunned
amazement as Jason Bourne confronts an assassin armed with a knife, and as their fight progresses through the apartment, Bourne finally finds his weapon of choice.
A ball point pen. I don’t even write with a ballpoint pen unless I absolutely have to, but Bourne takes on an assassin with one. In the next 15 seconds, Bourne stabs this poor, hopelessly outgunned (outpenned?) assassin who mistakenly brought a knife to a pen fight. Eventually Jason wins the fight, kills the bad guy, and moves on to fight for justice on behalf of misunderstood assassins everywhere.
In the second movie, The Bourne Supremacy, Bourne is framed for a series of very bad, national security threatening type of things, his girlfriend is killed by bad guys, and he has to go to war against the organization that once used his skills as an assassin but are now trying to frame him. In this movie, there is a scene where Bourne confronts another assassin in his home. As is probably the case in most killer-to-killer conversations, the scene progresses from talking to fighting faster than our attention spans can ignore, and Jason finds himself, yet again, facing a knife wielding assassin with no weapon of his own. Not to worry, though, if you’re Jason Bourne – there is a magazine laying nearby. Bourne rolls up this magazine and beats the other guy like a misbehaving puppy. Once again, Bourne goes on to expose the evil miscreants and their inhumanity to the world, and all good people everywhere rejoice.
In the third movie, The Bourne Ultimatum, Jason Bourne finds himself, yet again, on the wrong side of a fight with a team of international assassins (seriously, there are a lot of assassins out there, y’all). New people, new faces, different locations, but same scenario. Some poor professionally trained killer finds himself with nothing but a large metal bludgeon as he fights against an empty-handed Jason Bourne. But as is always the case, he does not stay empty handed for long. Because close at hand is one of the mightiest weapons known to mankind – a book. Now, when most people use a book to mount an offensive, they are doing so with pen in hand, closed in a small cupboard-like office until their thinking has turned into writing. Not so with Bourne. He uses a book more like a hammer, and treats his opponent like a nail that bent the wrong direction – just hit it ’til it’s out of the way.
By now, you know the story, Jason single-handedly dismantles an army of evil men with nothing other than the choice tools of academics across the world.
Those scenes are awesome, because Jason Bourne, with skills and gifts beyond mortal men, takes the normal mundane things in life and turns them into powerful weapons for good.
That is almost exactly how I define missional living for the people in our church, Living Stone Community Church.
We take the normal mundane things of life (e.g. eating, resting, talking, listening, celebrating, etc.) and, with the power of the Holy Spirit, turn them into powerful tools for sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
This is not our novel idea. The Apostle Paul got us started down this road when he told Christians that whether they eat or drink, or whatever they do, we should do it all for the glory of God. So when we eat, we invite others to eat with us. That creates an opportunity to share your story, and you will get the chance to hear someone else’s story. When we do fun things with our families, we think about who else can come and do those things with us. When we celebrate good things God has done, we invite others to come celebrate God’s goodness with us. We follow the Jason Bourne school of fighting: we take advantage of the mundane and make it powerful.
Do you have a job? Use it for the good of other people and mission of God. Do you have friends? Live in such a way that they start thanking your God for their relationship with you. Do you have a car? Maybe you should stop inviting people to church, and start offering to pick them up for church. Do you have a house? What if you stopped treating your house as your personal refuge from the world, and started using it as a tool to reach the world?
We weaponize everything in our life to make it serve God’s purpose in restoring the world to Himself.