So I’ve been down with Halo since day 1. I played them all. Gotta love the Chief, but I’m gonna go out on a limb and say “Reach” was my favorite. Before you start yelling “blasphemy” at the page, hear me out (which this may not be the first time you’ve had to yell blasphemy at this book, but hey, I can’t hear you, so let it rip). Chief is this larger than life character who has in fact earned his ranks among gaming icons like Samus, Mario, Link, Croft, Etc. There’s no denying that. With “Reach” however, I feel like the series hit a new high point. It is the first time we really had that team vibe. Like you were part of something (yeah I hear you random person saying “What about O.D.S.T.?” but seriously that was just like a game made for “Firefly” fans, it didn’t have the weight or heart of “Reach”). It also gave the player to opportunity to be his own individual. For once you weren’t the all powerful Chief, you actually got to evolve and become a distinct person. Not to mention you had a great team. Noble team wasn’t a group of invincible legends, they were Spartans yes, but not invincible, and that is where the beauty and truth lies.
Every one of the members of Noble Team signed up and committed to the battle knowing what it could cost them. Jorge sacrifices himself just to buy everyone more time. In this moment of helplessness he literally picks you up and throws you to safety, only telling you to “make it count” before he goes. Catherine was killed in the line of action, Jun was M.I.A., Carter crashed a plane into a giant robot spider, so that the team could proceed. Emile battles covenant elites to the death, and before he falls cries out “I’m ready! How bout you?!!” And finally in one of the most morose scenes in video game history, Noble Six delivers the package that in turn enables millions of lives to be saved. He stayed behind on a Reach to allow the human race to survive, and he was literally engulfed in covenant forces, fighting until his last breath.
This is why I love “Reach.” It’s not that these people die because they are expendable, it’s because they understood the concept Jesus teaches us in John 15 “13 No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends.” They laid down their lives not only for their friends, but for all those who wouldn’t be able to defend themselves. We live in a culture and society where everything is about what benefits ourselves, even sometimes the people that serve and give charity do it to glorify themselves. The verse prior to this one John 15:12 states “This is My command: Love one another as I have loved you.” We are called to sacrifice, we are called to serve, but we are called to do this out of love. When you go back to the Spartans of old, Leonidas and such, they sacrificed themselves, but for them the end game was glory. For us to actually live sacrificially doesn’t always result in chaotic death. Sometimes living sacrificially simply means giving all of ourselves for others, but we have to make sure that we do it the right way. Jesus warns us not to “sacrifice” for our own glory;
Matthew 6: “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of people, to be seen by them. Otherwise, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 So whenever you give to the poor, don’t sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be applauded by people. I assure you: They’ve got their reward! 3 But when you give to the poor, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving
may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.5 “Whenever you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites, because they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by people. I assure you: They’ve got their reward! 6 But when you pray, go into your private room, shut your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.7 When you pray, don’t babble like the idolaters, since they imagine they’ll be heard for their many words. 8 Don’t be like them, because your Father knows the things you need before you ask Him.”
If we live a life of love, caring for others like they are more important than us, then that’s the greater love Christ shows us. Philippians 2,“1If then there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by thinking the same way, having the same love, sharing the same feelings, focusing on one goal. 3 Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. 4 Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
There is beauty to life laid down; we see that in Christ, we see it in the world around us and even in the world of “Reach.”
"It didn't take long for “Reach” to fall. Our enemy was ruthless. Efficient. But they weren't nearly fast enough. For you had already passed the torch. And because of you, we found Halo, unlocked its secrets, shattered our enemy's resolve. Our victory - your victory - was so close... I wish you could have lived to see it. But you belong to Reach. Your body, your armor - all burned and turned to glass. Everything...except your courage. That, you gave to us. And with it, we can rebuild." -Cortana