Yieldingly Strong

Photo by Zach Reiner on Unsplash

Malachi 1:6–14; 1 Peter 2:1–10

Many years ago, there was a Star Trek show ed Voyager. Overall, I don’t remember much about it, but I do re this scene between Neelix (guest alien onboard) and Tuvok (i.e., Vulcan, humorless, emotionless, kind of like a robot):

NEELIX: These are Keela flowers. Beautiful, and remarkably strong. The stem is flexible, impossible to break. But occasionally on the same plant there’s a bloom whose stem is not so flexible. Ah, here’s one. And when the stem is brittle, it breaks.

TUVOK: You’re saying that the Maquis crew is rigid and inflexible. That they will never adjust to Starfleet rules.

NEELIX: No, Mister Vulcan, I’m saying that you are rigid and inflexible, but maybe if you’d learn to bend a little, you might have better luck with your class. Those Maquis aren’t Starfleet cadets. You can’t treat them the same way. Get to know them, try to find out what they’re like inside. You might discover a better teaching method.

“Learning Curve”, Original Airdate: May 22, 1995 (Stardate -327613). Thanks to www.chakoteya.net for the transcript.

The Maquis were an insurrection/guerilla group. Their methods of instruction and obedience were not the military-style of Starfleet. Tuvok learned one way. He taught one way. Rigidly.

However, the Maquis were just as rigid. It was just that they rigidly didn’t want to be like Starfleet

What on earth (or in space) does this have to do with these passages?

According to Peter, we are the priesthood of all believers. I may have a certain role within that priesthood (as an ordained person). You have one too.

The ultimate purpose of the priests is the be the intercessors between “the people” and . For Christians, “the people” are the world that does not yet believe in Christ.

The priests, however, have their own with . In our case (the collective Christian case), we are ed to give of ourselves: money, time, talent, and so on. It’s too rigid to say it is “required”. On the other hand, it is a spiritual discipline.

When we do not give of ourselves, or we do it grudgingly, we are the ones ed out by Malachi giving deformed useless for the sake of a check box.

In regard to our Christian life, there is a rigidity in . That is one of the aspects of a mature Christian, self-. It’s odd to say it is not required; on the other hand, it is essential.

The flexibility, however, is in how it works out. You could be ed with teaching, encouragement, prayer, or something else. Freedom from the Law is how we are free to respond to and to through .


 The question for you isn’t, are you ed? The question is, what are you ed in? The next question is like it; how will you use that for the community of believers around you?


Creator, you have made each of us different so that only together can reflect your infinite . Amen.

Pastor Ian

By Pastor Ian

Ian is an ordained Elder in The Church of the Nazarene, and is currently serving as the Online Campus Pastor at Generations Community Church in Marysville, WA, USA.