I’m sure we can all remember those words from Ash Ketchum of Pokemon fame as he sent his favourite Pokemon, Pikachu, into battle. More often than not the tiny yellow electric mouse would charge in at great speed and win the day for his friend and master.
I’ve just returned from Soul Survivor, a Christian festival for young people in Stafford, England. It was great fun and God did a lot of really cool stuff too such as healing people, not to mention hundreds came to know him for the first time. On the last night everyone wore a onesie and it was basically a big party. I borrowed a Pikachu onesie (thank you sis) and what you’re seeing here are some photos from that night. There were loads of people in the Primark ones and lots of animals, superheroes etc. but there weren’t many Pikachus. In fact out of 5,000 people I managed to find 5 other Pikachus – 1 for every 1,000 (or 833.33 to be precise)!
As I started seeing them I found myself wanting to talk to them, shake hands with them, and have photos taken with them too as you can see. There is something about common ground that is so important to us, and the desire to belong to something. You should’ve seen the group of tigers who came and attacked one of our guys who was dressed as a giraffe! Next thing I knew, as I was finding Pikachu #3, was a guy nearby dressed as Superman asking if I needed some help. When I told him about the tiger attack he, his friend Batman and I went to see if we could find them to sort them out (in a fun way obviously). It was silly and a good laugh, and sorry for the anticlimax but we never found the tiger pack (is that the plural for a group of tigers?).
Anyway, there is something special about belonging to something, identifying with others, being part of a group. Even though I’m obviously not Pikachu it was fun having so many people shout Pikachu!, come up and say hi, high five me and all the rest of it. One guy shouted “PIKACHU, I CHOOSE YOU!” and that’s where this blog post came from. Remember how Ash would do anything for his Pikachu, in fact for all his Pokemon? He wasn’t just a trainer but he cared for his Pokemon dearly, which is why they fought for him and wanted to help him no matter what. He was their master, but also their friend, and they were his because he had chosen each one of them.
Here’s the God link: Jesus said to his followers in John chapter 15, You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit–fruit that will last–and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.
So God chooses us, all of us, and wants to be our friend and master. Unlike Pokemon however, who have to be caught in a Pokeball in order to belong, we have a choice of our own to make. God chooses us, and he did that by sending Jesus to tell and show us that, but this warrants a response. Will we choose him? Will you?