Similar to the summer blockbuster movies we have become familiar with, the original novel, The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas is the 19th Century version of a buddy movie. It first appeared one chapter at a time in the Parisian newspaper Le Siècle from March 14, 1844 to July 1, 1844. It was a serial novel, guaranteeing newspaper sales, with each chapter ending with a real cliffhanger, so you had to find out what happened the next day. It was full of the ribald, swashbuckling, high-living humor that most of the 34 film versions in our modern era have captured. In other words, the humor, camaraderie, rivalry and naughtiness of later versions were not adaptations; they were built into the original story.
We have chosen this as the thematic representation for our May MemberPartner campaign mostly because of its now famous utterance: “All for one and one for all!” Of course we may not want to apply all that is implied in this story to our understanding of our place in the body of Christ, but certainly some of it we can borrow. Actually, maybe more than you would think.
All the elements are here: Salvation. From start to finish our hero, D’Artagnan (His name is hard to type and even harder to say, so for our purposes, we’ll call him, D’Arty.) is bent on saving anyone and everyone and their mother who is in danger. You can’t get closer to the Gospel of Welcome than that. Get rid of the bad guys. This would certainly be the secular version of spiritual warfare — something we are engaged in all the time, even when we don’t realize it. Get help from your group of buddies. If that isn’t us at the Catch, I don’t know what is. Get the girl. Well this one may be a bit of a stretch, unless if by getting the girl we mean the love interest of the story. In a spiritual sense, love is the interest that drove Christ to do what He did for all of us on the cross. Love made Him do it. And love is what turns us inside out to those around us as in Grace turned Outward. Besides, in D’Arty’s case, he never really gets the girl as she dies in his arms, certainly a picture of the painful loss we often experience concerning those we love, either to sin or to death. And finally, there are the twists and turns of the plot, which happen continually to us in real life that require patience, innovation and the indwelling life of the Spirit of God in order to cope. Certainly the fact that the people who should be our friends sometimes are not, and the people who may not appear to be our friends, sometimes are. In other words, as in the story, so in life: things are not always what they appear to be. The last shall be first, and the first shall be last, and winners and losers trade places.
So consider this your formal invitation to join our group of buddies — MemberPartners of the Catch — bent on making it together in this adventure called life. Many of you give occasionally to the Catch. Why not give regularly, and at the same time be a part of something bigger than yourself — something world wide that will help you save those around you who are in danger, help you win the spiritual battles in your life, help you experience Grace and turn it outwards to others, and help you navigate all those twists and turns in the plot that is your life and your destiny. Become a MemberPartner today. Be “All for one and one for all!”