The Infinity Bros have the honor of giving an exclusive preview of the book Thy Geekdom Come Vol. 2: 42 Science Fiction-Inspired Devotionals from Mythos and Ink, releasing today! For those of you joining from the Thy Geekdom Come Blog Tour, welcome! We hope you enjoy this taste of the book and stick around for more content from your Infinity Bros revolving around this publication, including some e-book giveaways in the future.
For those of you who haven't heard, Thy Geekdom Come is a devotional series (as of today!) that "relates fictional tales to an almighty, loving God who is ever present in our beloved franchises. From The Mandalorian to Final Fantasy, popular stories impact our lives and can point the way to what is holy if we dare to look." It's the perfect devotional for geeks, nerds, and anyone who is passionate about our favorite fictional franchises. You can check out volume one, Thy Geekdom Come: 42 Fandom-Inspired Devotionals now, and then keep reading right into volume two that drops today! Check out geekdevo.com/infinity to find more information on how to acquire this new title, and how to keep up with the Blog Tour and more. You can also find a free 5-day version of Thy Geekdom Come Vol. 2 at the link above.
We have the privilege of sharing with you an exclusive preview of one of the 42 devotionals from Thy Geekdom Come Vol. 2. This devotional is pulled straight out of the collection, and will give you a taste of what these entail. Please join us on this journey through a very special fandom to many of us; the world of Firefly.
No Power in the ‘Verse Can Stop Faith
By Jen Schlameuss and Jonathan Elsensohn
“Only one thing is gonna walk you through this, Mal. Belief.” — Shepherd Book, Serenity
Read: Romans 5:1–11
Reflect: If there’s one feeling Firefly fans are intimately acquainted with, it’s disappointment.
There is a special cruelty in letting us get to know the loveable rogues of Serenity’s crew,
invest in their plights, and care about what happens to them, just to have the show cancelled
after its first season. The fans’ perseverance was rewarded when, several years later, the film Serenity was released. In the spirit of all Joss Whedon projects, the movie brought some
closure to the plot threads left dangling, while simultaneously killing off characters we cared
Disappointment and perseverance are at the heart of both the show and the film. From
the very opening scene of the first episode, we see Captain Mal (then a sergeant in the
Browncoats) holding an impossible position and to keep his weary troops together. They had
been entrenched for weeks and are on the edge of defeat. But, Mal’s leadership and faith keep them fighting for what they believe in. In a moment, though, all of that is crushed, as he learns that the promised reinforcements were never deployed. The Alliance is alone as troops overrun them with vastly superior numbers and equipment.
This defeat changes Mal. The faith that saw him through some of the darkest days of the war is gone. He has lost his trust in institutions, causes, humanity, and even God; he can’t get past all that he has lost. So with his first mate, Zoe (the only other member of his battalion to survive the battle of Serenity Valley), he procures a Firefly class transport and aims to “just keep flying.” He christens his new ship Serenity, a painful reminder of everything he left behind. In a deleted scene, we find out that Mal’s choice to name his ship after his greatest defeat reflects his fixation with all he has lost. As Zoe explains in a deleted scene from the Firefly’s pilot, “Once you’ve been in Serenity, you never leave.”
Along the way, Zoe and Mal pick up others who don’t neatly fit the rigid, ordered
universe the Alliance is striving to enforce. While they come from vastly different
backgrounds, and even different planets, each member of the crew finds a home on Serenity. They come to care for one another as a family. Mal may not have been able to leave behind the pain of Serenity Valley, but the relationships he forges with his crew become the base of a new faith, replacing a portion of what was lost.
Some of the most interesting interactions take place between Mal and Shepherd Book, a clergyman with a firm set of beliefs (and a mysterious past). While the two develop a strong bond, their outlooks on the universe could not be more different, at least as far as Mal sees it. Where the Shepherd counsels restraint, Mal is reactive. Where the Shepherd offers mercy, Mal seeks retribution. Despite their apparent differences, both men ground their sense of justice, morality, and responsibility in their abiding love for their fellow travellers.
When the Apostle Paul writes to the Romans about his understanding of the journey of
faith, he doesn’t describe his dramatic story of conversion. Not everyone will meet Christ on
the road to Damascus. Instead, he draws the reader’s attention to the struggles each of us find in the journey of faith, noting that suffering and endurance can lead to the development of hope when we’re open to it (Romans 5:3–5). Challenges and setbacks do not diminish our
faith, but provide us with a means of understanding God’s presence in even the darkest parts of our lives.
After years of struggle and the deaths of several friends, Mal and the crew of the Serenity take refuge at the haven established by Shepherd Book. Mal confesses that he feels lost, uncertain of where to go and what to do. Book tells him that only belief will allow him to find his direction. When Mal bristles at the implication that God is the answer to his problems, Book redirects him.
Mal’s story is one of lost faith. As a man with a confused and violent past himself, Book
realizes that Mal is not yet ready to perceive the presence of God in his life. The faith that
Mal is able to understand is rooted in his crew—belief in love, respect, and shared sacrifice.
The devastation he couldn’t leave behind in Serenity Valley has been replaced by a tenacious faith in the family of his Firefly. Were it not for these bonds, the suffering he experienced could have destroyed him. But, because he endures, both he and the crew can transcend the trials that otherwise would swallow them.
Suffering that is not anchored by faith can destroy a person. Suffering when faith is
present, even if that faith is as simple as the experience of community, can make people more resilient, hopeful, and compassionate. With God, suffering never has the last word. God created us for community so that we might bear one another’s sufferings and lift one another up. For Mal, the truth of God’s active presence in community may not ever be fully realized, yet he is able to experience it in the bonds of friendship and family.
The final scene of the movie shows Mal and the crew breaking through storm clouds,
exiting the atmosphere to witness the sun rising above the planet. They had known so much
loss, suffering, and death, but they were still together, they were still flying. While there was
no shortage of disappointment, and things most certainly did not work out the way they
would have chosen (or the fans may have wanted), their hope bloomed. The faith that God
(whether they were able to recognize it or not) infused into their makeshift family made them
able to overcome, together, any suffering that might come their way.
Key Scripture: “I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!” — John 16:33
[Word from Infinity Bro Isaac]: Each of these devotionals comes with a few study questions to help us reflect on the scripture and devotional, and help us to relate and apply them to our own lives. I will answer these study questions for myself to give you a glimpse of the great impact these quick devotionals can have on our daily lives. Feel free to comment your answers below, or let us know on social media. We would love to hear from you!
1. Has a major disappointment ever shaken your faith? How did you overcome it?
- I have been blessed to have many amazing people in my life that have made it a joy to live every day, but nobody is without dark times in their life. For me, one of those times was simply a rut that I got stuck in. I got caught up in myself, my life, and the things I was involved in; I became numb to my family, and God as well. I knew in the back of my mind that Jesus would always be there for me, but I let that become an excuse to let the connection in my life to him dissipate to a minimum. It was only through the people around me, especially my wonderful wife, that I came to the realization that I had dug myself into that rut; and once I had clear vision on where I was, it was only a matter of taking the steps to get out, with the help of Jesus at my side.
2. In what ways has your community (however you define it) helped to support you in a time
- Everyone needs a community around them to build them up. Whether it's the Avengers, the Order of the Phoenix, the Power Rangers, or the crew of the Serenity; having people that support you is crucial to your success, in your spiritual life, and otherwise. I've been blessed to be surrounded with family and friends who continually point me to Christ, even when it's not what I want at the time. As I mentioned before, my wife is one of those people, and she will not hesitate to question my motives if they aren't based in bringing people to Jesus. Like Mal, she's fiercely loyal, and will do anything for her "crew". As followers of Christ, we should strive to lift up everyone around us, and point them right back to him.
3. How do you experience God when things don’t turn out the way you hoped? Do you get
angry? Do you turn away?
- It's human nature to 'feel' things when we don't get our way. Anger, fear, and sadness are all common responses to a situation that doesn't turn out in our favor. It's very difficult for us to completely control our responses to unforeseen circumstances; and due to this, we may lash out in ways that are uncharacteristic for us in response. I personally need to continually remind myself that I am not in control. When I look at things in my life that are outside of my realm of control, it's easy to lose sight of the fact that God knows what's best for me, and He works everything out for His glory. When I feel this way, there is a passage that I always come back to that gives me hope: 1 Corinthians 15:56-57. "The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." Jesus has already overcome the world, and any hardship or suffering that we endure, He is there with us.
As you can see through this one devotional, there are spiritual nuggets of wisdom scattered throughout our favorite geeky fandoms, and Thy Geekdom Come Vol. 2 brings many of them out for us to reflect on. We are excited to join Mythos and Ink in promoting this awesome publication that will bring nerds everywhere closer to God and strengthen their faith! We hope you'll join the Infinity Bros Universe for chances to win e-books through the Infinity Bros Podcast, on our Twitch channel, and on our social media. Make sure to go to geekdevo.com/infinity to find out more about the release of Thy Geekdom Come Vol. 2, and receive your free 5-day Devotional from the book!
Isaac Edlund is a husband, dad, friend, nurse, nerd, and more; but above all else, he is a follower of Christ. Check out how he relates his nerdy and spiritual lives on his first contribution to the Daily Nerd Devo.