The inception of artificial intelligence in the early part of the 20th century triggered a nuclear war in 1997. The war between man and machine would progress into the 21st century and would all but leave humanity wiped out. The machines are finally losing the war due to a human named John Connor and his band of resistance fighters. The machines, to ensure victory, send a cyborg assassin from the year 2029 to the year 1984. His mission: kill Sarah Connor, the mother of John Connor.
This is the basic story line of James Cameron’s The Terminator. This low-budget B-movie was never expected to be much of a success. This was evident by the reviews it got. But it topped the Box Office for two weeks and did launch three sequels. Not to mention what it did for its star, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Schwarzenegger’s size and deadpan, monotone voice give the Terminator an unnerving edge to his limited dialogue (sixteen whole lines!) and the bodies left in the wake of the hunt for Sarah Connors.
The resistance fighters send a warrior to 1984 as well, but to protect Sarah Connor. This is not an easy job for Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn). Unlike the Terminator, bullet wounds hurt Reese. Yet, Reese does not give up, he continues to do all he can to keep Sarah alive. To the point of his own death.
Sarah (Linda Hamilton) is an average, single woman working as a waitress. Sarah has a hard time understanding what is going on or why she is being hunted down by a cyborg assassin. Reese does his best to explain to her what is happening. She questions him, “Why me?” questioning why the Terminator is coming after her. Reese then explains that she is the mother of the resistance’s leader, John Connor. Without her bravery and courage, humanity is doomed.
I can’t help but think of Mary in Luke’s gospel as Gabriel comes to her and explains that she, an average, single woman, will give birth to a child that will save all of humanity. I imagine if she did not express it, she thought, “Why me?” But the questioning only lasted for a second. In what we call the Magnificat, Mary declares, “Here I am.” She becomes what the Greek Orthodox call theotokos, or God-bearer, because she literally bore Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ would be the Messiah who would redeem the people from slavery to sin, just as John Connor would be the messiah figure who will save humanity from the machines. Sarah Connor, then, becomes a messiah-bearer in her own right. She like Mary is brave and courageous, willing to be the vessel for the one who will save humanity.
Are we willing to do as Mary and Sarah did, and be God-bearers? When times get hard and there are there is a real and present darkness, will we join the darkness or we will be brave and courageous to bear the light?