Of all the time I spent walking in Mordor, there wasn’t a moment of rest in its political landscape.
I realise that my actions were partly to blame. In slaying the near-countless Uruks that crossed my path, I had no doubt caused much disarray among their ranks. Yet in times when I was defeated in battle, it still shook up the leadership hierarchy, as he who crushed me would earn 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 were prone to stirring up conflicts among themselves. Their penchant for domination and greed paved the way to ceaseless infighting. These constant power struggles proved easily exploitable. I took advantage and was able to strike at vulnerabilities that weakened their entire military structure.
This remains why Shadow 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 actual context, he was referring to Satan’s dominion which — despite its evil — knows to avoid this type of self-implosion even as it functions within a loveless culture.
Sauron’s minions, on the other hand, displayed no discernment whatsoever. They clashed against enemies by day, and backstabbed one another by night. In an environment where allies are never true, there’s just 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 behaviour. 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 the Saviour who has made possible our inheritance of a kingdom of love and unity — one that will certainly endure forever.
- Mark 3:24 (NIV).
- John 17:11, 22 (NIV).
- Colossians 3:13-14 (NIV).