Brothers and sisters,
Six months ago, I wrote an Illuminator article entitled, “The Legend of Zelda and Loneliness.” In that article, I wrote about a game called Tears of the Kingdom and how it addresses themes of loneliness and finding community. And I remember telling you all then that once I beat Tears of the Kingdom, you could expect another article about the game. Well, I beat the game! So I want to talk about one of the aspects of the game that Zelda fans like myself particularly enjoy before connecting it back to our lives as Christians.
The Legend of Zelda games are known for a lot of different things. The gameplay is great. The characters are iconic. The stories are simple, but deeply moving. But perhaps more than anything else, Zelda games are known for their music. And while every new Zelda game has its own unique musical sound, they also tap into themes from previous games and use them to help tell their story.
In Tears of the Kingdom, the music is played by a full orchestra. One of the most celebrated musical moments comes early in the game. Link, the hero of the story, is battling a giant flying worm-thing called Colgera. Colgera is a wind monster and so most of the battle takes place in the sky. Because of that, the music that plays during the fight is carried by lots of wind instruments—oboes, flutes, saxophones, etc.
As the battle wears on, Colgera gets more aggressive and so does the music. Longer, soaring wind sections are interrupted with sharp, aggressive punches of sound from horns. Strings come in and play a tight loop of anxious notes as Colgera throws massive attacks at Link. But if the player dodges those attacks, the orchestra bursts into this bombastic, triumphant choral rendition of a song from a previous Zelda game, The Wind Waker. For those of us that played The Wind Waker back in 2002, it feels like the hero of that game nudging you and saying, “Hey, you’ve over-come challenges before. You can do it again.”
This past Sunday, we celebrated All Saints Sun-day. We took time during our worship service to read out the names of our brothers and sisters in Christ who had passed away within the last year. We talked about the ways in which our brothers and sisters in Christ have shaped and molded our faith over the years. Sometimes their influence is as broad as, “I come to church because this person invited me years ago.” It can be as personal as a relationship—someone from a church who stuck with you during hard times and who is the first to celebrate with you in good times. Sometimes it is as literal as something you say or do because someone else influenced you. Growing up my youth minister began every prayer with, “Gracious and loving God.” When you hear me pray on-the-spot, you’ll notice that I often start with, “Gracious and loving God.”
As we move through life, the saints remind us that we can meet highs and lows. I am reminded of Scott and my home church family at FBC Goldsboro every time I pray. I remember the way they all guided me and showed me how to be a Christian. It is as if they are nudging me and saying, “You’ve got this.” We are never truly alone in our faith journey and that’s a comfort. There will always be things we do that remind us of our brothers and sisters in Christ—those that are with us and those that have passed on. But isn’t it comforting when life throws challenges at you to know there are people in your corner who believe in you? That is part of the gift God gives us in the church.
Grace and peace,
P. S. If you’d like to hear the music I mentioned in this article, go to YouTube and type in, “colgera battle ost”. The moment I describe starts around the 2:35 mark, with the choir joining in at 2:55. The whole piece is just under 5 minutes—listen to it all!