Rambling for Kirwan Uniting Church Keep in Touch pew sheet 5 July 2020
Do you remember the Lone Ranger? His sidekick, Tonto? Horse, Silver? Tonto’s horse, Scout? Tonto’s name for the Lone Ranger, Kemosabe? The end of each programme, when someone would ask, “Who is that masked man?” Then Silver would rear up, the Lone Ranger exclaim “Hi-yo Silver!” and ride off into the sunset with Tonto and Scout.
The background story for Silver is that he was a wild stallion whom the Lone Ranger rescued from an enraged buffalo. Silver followed the Lone Ranger in gratitude, and became his horse without needing to be broken in. I’m put in mind of Romans 6 concerning our willing service to Christ who rescued us: ‘But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.’
However, in a later broadcast, the Lone Ranger thinks that perhaps he shouldn’t have accepted Silver’s offering. After all, he is a wild animal. So he sets him free, sends him off with a slap on his flank. But at the end of that episode, Silver comes back of his own accord. Now my paradigmatic-tendency mind turns to Philemon, to whom Paul returns an escaped slave. Not now as a slave, though (verse 15) ‘Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back forever— no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother.’ Jesus himself tells us, his willing servants, that (John 15:15) “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends … “
But wait – Silver doesn’t come back by himself, he brings with him a companion who becomes Tonto’s horse, Scout. Another bible analogy to encourage us in our service to Christ! Think about Andrew (John 1:39 passim) who brings his brother Peter to Jesus, then (John 6) introduces the lad with loaves and fishes. Not just evangelism, but Andrew is a human recruiting station for bringing others to serve Christ, not be mere followers.
Bet you never thought you’d see a theological reflection on the Lone Ranger in Keep in Touch 😊 Hi-yo, Silver!