Of all the time I spent walking in Mordor, there wasn’t a moment of rest in its political landscape.
I realize that my actions were partly to blame. In slaying numerous Uruks that crossed my path, I have no doubt caused much disarray among their ranks. Yet if I were to be defeated in battle, it would still shake up the leadership hierarchy, as he who crushes me earns a much-deserved promotion. Evidently, my mere presence in the land operated as a catalyst for change.
However, I wasn’t the only factor. Left to their own devices, Sauron’s forces are prone to stirring up conflicts among themselves. Their penchant for domination and greed paves the way to ceaseless infighting. These constant power struggles are easily exploitable. In taking advantage of them, I was able to strike at vulnerabilities that weaken their entire military structure.
This is why Shadows of Mordor is such an easy game, notwithstanding the portrayal of the aggressive and intimidating nature of the Uruks.
Jesus once said, “If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.”1 In context, he was actually referring to Satan’s dominion, which knows even to avoid this type of self-implosion despite functioning upon a loveless culture.
Sauron’s minions, on the other hand, display no discernment whatsoever. They clash against enemies by day, and backstab one another by night. In an environment where allies are never true, there is no hope for keeping things together.
Matters worsened for the Uruks when I gained the ability to control their minds — not that I ever needed this option in the first place. But there I was, adding fuel to fire by planting disruptive agents within their divisions, further impairing what was already a crumbling organisation. Any semblance of harmony soon became non-existent, as my infiltration completely dismantled their rule of Mordor.
Indeed, a kingdom divided simply cannot stand. It was with this knowledge that Jesus prayed for his followers prior to dying on the cross and departing earth. Regarding both his chosen disciples and believers in general, he pleaded to the Father that they “may be one as we are one.”2 He knew that to hold out against the onslaught of the enemy, his people must establish solidarity of heart and mind in the model of the Godhead, three in one.
Thus perseveres the church even until today, whereby our ecumenical commitments have not only granted survival in this treacherous world, but also exemplify our identity in Christ and serve as a testament for guiding the lost toward God’s eternal family.
We must not forget that at the core of this unity stands Jesus with his work of reconciling humanity to the Creator. For without him, contempt and hostility are bound to creep back into our relationships. In reality, human nature is not much better than Uruk behavior. A peace sustained by mortal efforts is as feasible as a house built on sand.
Friction between members of Christ’s family is still inevitable. Yet thanks to him, we have a solid foundation upon which conflicts may be resolved. The Apostle Paul encouraged the believers of Colossae in the ways of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. But in knowing that people are works in progress, he added: “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”3
Jesus invites us to share in the oneness he has with the Father; to abide in him means to commune with God under his profound grace. From that, we begin to understand the depth of the Trinitarian harmony and are compelled to extend mercy to those who have stepped on our toes, or worse. While the Uruks are doomed to self-destruction through the damage that they inflict on their own kind, we rejoice in a Savior who has made possible our inheritance of a kingdom of love and unity, a community that will certainly endure forever.
- Mark 3:24 (NIV).
- John 17:11, 22 (NIV).
- Colossians 3:13-14 (NIV).