I'm a fan of the movie Stardust, for a number of reasons, most of which aren't entirely relevant to this column. There is, however, one scene that struck me immediately as being a surprisingly theological statement. Consider the scene in the image above. Yvaine and Tristan, the two main characters, have been captured by sky pirates and Tristan is expressing his disappointment over how unprepared for the situation he is. His entire line of reasoning on why he shouldn't even be in this place is finally summarized by his line, "I'm just a shopboy." Because, of course, he works in a shop.
It's here that Yvaine, who is in fact a fallen star (it's a thing, you'll have to see the movie, which I recommend you do), finally interjects. She points out that, as a star, she and her sisters have a lot of time and a unique perspective to watch mankind, and she has noticed that there are two kinds of men who work in shops.
"There are shopboys, and there are boys who happen to work in shops for a time. And you are no shopboy."
The problem, as she saw it, was that he was defining himself by the shop rather than seeing the shop as a temporary circumstance. And that would be fine, if he was the sort of person who had nothing else to define himself by, but he wasn't. She saw something else in him that he didn't. And along comes the theology.
You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
Romans 8:9 (ESV)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV)
One of the more common problems in the church today is a matter of identity. We don't define ourselves by Christ. We tack Christ onto whoever we already thought we were. We are content to be shopboys in a suddenly magical world, when in fact we are being called to abandon the shop and embrace a far more grand destiny.
The question is, what are you using to define yourself? Is it your nationality? Your sexuality? Your political affiliation? Your career or family? It can be more subtle than that. It can be your denomination, or theological creed. Anything but Christ, and you're missing the point. And we all do it, at some point or another. Come back to this center often. Remind yourself that you are in Christ. That this is your identity, and all else flows out of that. Nothing else shapes it - it shapes all.
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!" The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
Romans 8:15-17 (ESV)
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:21 (ESV)
We leave behind our old identities when we are covered in the blood of Christ. Sometimes He gives us some of that back, redeemed for His purposes, but they don't define us anymore. We aren't who we were. We are redeemed out of sin. We are sons and daughters of God, in Christ. We are heirs to the Kingdom. We are the righteousness of God. And that needs to be the core of everything we do.