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FEAR, LOVE, JOY


In the movie First Knight, Lancelot (played by Richard Gere) is a wanderer and highly skilled swordsman who fights for whoever will pay him. Seeing a princess and her entourage under attack in the woods, he decides to save her. Attracted to the princess, Guinevere, he later visits her in Camelot, where an annual festival is taking place. Unfortunately for him, Guinevere is to be wed to King Arthur (Sean Connery) at a later date.

In one particular scene, King Arthur and Camelot’s values of serving others and something greater than yourself is contrasted with Lancelot’s selfish and solitary lifestyle. Following Lancelot’s success at "running the gauntlet," an impossible obstacle course of swinging boulders and axes, King Arthur privately meets Lancelot. Arthur is thoroughly impressed with Lancelot’s ability to run the gauntlet, and wants to know how he did it. Lancelot responds that fear caused others to fail, but "I have nothing to lose, so what have I to fear?" He has no home and no family. Proudly he claims, "I live by my sword."

As they walk toward the room that holds the Round Table, King Arthur tells Lancelot what Camelot’s values are: "Here we believe that every life is precious, even the lives of strangers. If you must die, die serving something greater than yourself. Better still, live and serve."

At the Round Table, where the High Council of Camelot meets, King Arthur tells him the table has no head or foot; they are all equal, even the King. Lancelot reads the inscription on the table: "In serving each other we become free." King Arthur remarks: "That is the very heart of Camelot. Not these stones, timbers, towers, palaces. Burn them all, and Camelot lives on. Because it lives in us, it’s a belief we hold in our hearts."

King Arthur invites Lancelot to stay in Camelot, but Lancelot wants to be on the road, wherever chance takes him. As he’s leaving, King Arthur tells him: "Lancelot, just a thought. A man who fears nothing is a man who loves nothing. And if you love nothing, what joy is there in your life?"


SOURCE: Lou Bartet in "Three Vital Commitments, www.sermoncentral.com.

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