Summary: This message begins our series "Minions: Playing Second Fiddle for God" and looks at the 12 Apostles and how they served and changed the world.
Minions by the Bunch
When you hear the word “Minion” what do you think of? For some, you think of little yellow people in blue pants.
For others, you have your own favorite minions from years past. The Disney films we grew up with were filled with Minions, albeit with other names. Snow White’s Step Mother had her magic mirror. Captain Hook had Mr. Smee, and Gaston had LeFou.
For those with more cultured tastes you might remember Pintel and Ragetti who were minions for whoever was paying the best in the various Pirates of the Caribbean.
If you grew up with horror movies, Frankenstein had Igor and Dracula had Renfield.
And lest you think that Minions always worked for the bad guys remember that Batman had Robin, the Lone Ranger had Tonto, the Green Lantern had Kato and of course every Han Solo needs a Chewbacca.
The Oxford dictionary defines a Minion as “A follower or underling of a powerful person, especially a servile or unimportant one.”
So in theory that would make the Vice President of the United States a minion. Mike Pence might not think so but John Garner who was Vice President between 1933 and 1941 once told Lyndon Johnson “The office of Vice-President isn’t worth a bucket of warm spit.”
I guess Lyndon Johnson might have disagreed with that on November 22, 1963.
But for most of us today when we think of Minions we think of Kevin, Dave and Stuart and their friends.
These minions first made their appearance in the animated feature “Despicable Me” in 2010, which was followed by “Despicable Me 2” in 2013 and finally by their own movie “Minions” in 2015.
Now the reality is that most of us would feel insulted if we were characterized as someone’s minion but the reality is that most of us serve as minions to somebody.
My Grandfather was fond of saying “Beware of the man who says he’s boss in his own home, if he’ll lie about that he’ll lie about anything.”
Peter Moore is presently our assistant District Superintendent and after July, everything being equal will most likely be our District Superintendent. Because I serve the district in a couple of different capacities I’m kind of a minion for Peter. But the reality is, that when Peter first graduated from University he was my minion.
Over the next 7 weeks or so we are going to be looking at some of the folks in the bible who were cast as minions, those who didn’t get to play the lead role or have a place on centre stage. Those who were asked to play second fiddle for God.
Leonard Bernstein, the late conductor of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, was once asked to name the most difficult instrument to play. Without hesitation, he replied: “The second fiddle. I can get plenty of first violinists, but to find someone who can play the second fiddle with enthusiasm – that’s a problem; and if we have no second fiddle, we have no harmony."
Let’s start with a whole bunch of minions, 12 to be exact.
If I was to ask you to name the Twelve Apostles I would suspect that many of you would be hard pressed to get all Twelve.
Most of us would start with Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. But only Matthew and John were actually apostles. We could probably add Peter and James, most would get Judas and then we’d start grasping.
I remember in my Systematic Theology class in university a friend of mine was stumped by a particular question so he wrote “I don’t know the answer but the names of the twelve apostles’ were . . .” and then he listed them. The Prof marked it wrong. As my cousin Rob used to say “Mr Bridgeo had no sense of ha ha.”
So what do we know about the twelve? A number of years ago I preached a message called “Discovering the Twelve” and taught about each of the twelve apostles. I’m not going to do that today, if you’re interested let me know and I’ll send you the manuscript.
This is a really, really important group of people.
They may have scattered when Jesus was being crucified, but when public opinion was still on the other side they came back together. And after Jesus’ death and resurrection and his return to the Father there were only 120 gathered in the upper room.
That’s about a quarter of the number that call Cornerstone their church home. And through the efforts and leadership of the eleven remaining Apostles those 120 people literally changed the course of history.
Now I understand that God was working, and the Holy Spirit was moving but it ultimately happened because of these men. This was the group that God had chosen to accomplish his plan through. And they changed the world that they lived in, without television or radio or the internet, without force or violence they reshaped humanity in a matter of half a century.