Thursday, July 4, 2013

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet, Ep. 13: To Be Served or to Serve

With last week’s Episode 13, Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet has reached the end of its TV broadcast, and while there will be a couple of OVA episodes, this episode brings the story to a great conclusion. There are many awesome moments to be had here and it is most definitely worth seeing if you have been following the show up to now. For this post, I will be addressing something that comes up early in the episode. While nothing important in episode 13 itself will be spoiled, there are major spoilers for things revealed up to the end of episode 12 after the jump, so be warned.
Chamber, who is more awesome than you'd think. Art by 3110soti.

At the beginning of the episode, we meet up with Striker, the mecha of Ledo’s commander Kugel, carrying out Kugel’s mission after his death. That mission is to bring the people of the fleet he is in charge of together under the principles of the Galactic Alliance. To that end, Striker has decided to institute a religion where she herself (Striker, like Chamber, is an AI, except with a female voice) is “God”, and thus compelling the people of her fleet to submit to her various demands, declaring that her purpose is to be served by humans.
Chamber notably takes offense at this, and declares the opposite: his purpose is to serve his pilot.
One of the big questions that many (this show included) pose against religion is: how do you know that your God is worth serving and isn’t just out to get humanity? In a way, though, this is the wrong question to ask: if there is an all-powerful God, that alone should be enough to require that we serve Him. Any insistence that said God look out for us is just selfish presumption on our part; an all-powerful God has no obligation to love His people.
And yet, the great thing about our God is, He does love His people.
This is best exemplified in Mark 10:45 with the famous verse, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (ESV) (“Son of Man” refers to Jesus Christ, who is God in the flesh.)
Immediately, this can be compared to the two different mecha AIs in Gargantia. Striker has a “came to be served” attitude, while Chamber has a “came to serve” attitude. As for what comes from this clash of attitudes between these two AI systems… well, if you haven’t seen the episode yet, go do so and find out. I’ll say this much: it is something that has made Chamber my favorite character of this show. Seriously, his awesomeness level really went off the chart here.
In the meantime, know that our God is good, and that He did not have to, but He sent His son to serve us and to die for us. And while we should serve God simply because He is God, His goodness is built into the very definition of who He is, so to say that we should serve Him because He is good is the same thing as to say that we should serve Him because He is God. After all, no matter how much we serve Him, it cannot compare to the extent of His service for us, especially on the cross.


  1. Great post! It's amazing how much was said in those first few minutes of the episode. I like how you said that God being all-powerful is reason enough to serve him, and that He has no obligation to love us... but He loves us anyway. I appreciate what you wrote about His goodness, too. Jesus humbled Himself to serve on earth, while still being God, all-powerful and glorious. Pretty amazing!

  2. To me this whole post is summed up right here: no matter how much we serve Him, it cannot compare to the extent of His service for us, especially on the cross.

    So powerful, and true. His love for us is so awe inspiring and beautiful, that it makes you want to serve Him out of gratefulness, love for Him and to honor such a holy, amazing and great Father we have. That's how I see my service to Him. I serve Him because I WANT to, not because I HAVE to.