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Faith Lessons from Tonto

The comeback of the Lone Ranger didn’t exactly pan out earlier in the summer. It cost more to make than the GNP of a small country, but nonetheless bombed to almost historic levels. We won’t likely see Lone Ranger II anytime soon, and that’s sad because the theme song is one of the greatest ever. As a kid I galloped across our yard on my stick horse humming that tune countless times. Our yard was safe from bad guys and varmints of all types! William Tell? I think not, Bub.

Jeff Z. Klein wrote a recent article on Harry J. Smith, aka Jay Silverheels, aka the television Tonto. Smith, a Canadian Iroquois, was an indoor lacrosse star who was discovered during a tournament in Los Angeles. Silver Heels was a nickname bestowed upon him due to his speed on the court and he later adopted it as his stage name. He appeared in 85 films but the role that defined him was Tonto, Native American sidekick to the Masked Crusader for justice, the Lone Ranger. As it turns out he despised the role that brought him fame, calling it “demeaning” and, as “some kind of servant to the Lone Ranger.” I see his point. Even as a kid it was easy to see the pecking order in that relationship. It was a “servant-role,” which in many ways is negative racially, but on an entirely different level is actually very Jesus-like.
As people we are equal. As Christians we must step beyond our God-given person-to-person equality and see ourselves as being subservient to God. Jesus did. Check out Philippians 2:5-8…

Your attitude should be the same as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-even death on a cross!

As we pray this week let’s focus on our SQ, Servant-Quotient. Don’t fret, none of us are where we should be. The key is to make progress. Maybe your NEXT is to be more servant-focused. An amazing assortment of opportunities could be in the offering if that’s the case. If you’d like to talk about this further, call one of our pastors. At the very least pray this week about embracing your servanthood. I will do just that this week, all the while humming the William Tell Overture, aka, the theme song of the Lone Ranger.

Hi-Yo Silver Away!

Michael McCullar
Formations Pastor
Johns Creek Baptist Church

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