Have you watched Transformers: War for Cybertron on Netflix? This is an anime adaptation of our favorite robots in disguise focused more directly on their home planet: Cybertron. They just released the first part of the trilogy and I watched all 6 episodes within a few days. This definitely has more of a wartime feel and environment than previous installations of the series.
Several spoilers ahead!
The lovable Bumblebee starts the series out as a loner who wants nothing to do with Optimus Prime or his Autobots. Instead, he works independently as a scavenger finding energon, the nourishment needed by all Transformers. He flat out refuses any invitation from Prime even when the Decepticons immediately label him as an enemy.
While a few adventures and schisms progress, Prime loses a best friend. Ultra Magnus, the military leader of the Autobots is lost to them. They had both been students of Alpha Trion and had led the fight against Megatron together. When Magnus is killed, some small light seeds fly out of him and on their way: The Alpha Trion Protocols.
Optimus Prime describes the Protocols as “thousands of cycles of history and knowledge”. Later in the episode they are described as a “vast collection of information and strategies designed to protect the Autobots in times of great crises.” Before Alpha Trion died, both Magnus and Prime felt that no one autobot should possess everything for leadership. Two were needed and so two different sets of intuition and resources were programmed by Alpha Trion and left to them. Optimus received the Matrix of Leadership, which has been seen in many iterations of Transformers. Magnus got the Alpha Trion Protocols which was a new item in this iteration.
As a Christian I have a set of protocols; a mix of history, instructions and strategies needed for my adventure with Jesus. We call it the Bible. This compilation of writings consists of poetry, history, legal obligations for the Old Testament state of Israel (and later Judah), as well as instructions for those of “The Way” and the story of God’s plan of redemption through Jesus. This particular set of documents, used by most Protestant denominations, has been kept together with great pains for thousands of years. Click here for an article on the canonization of scripture. It should be noted that Catholics include a few books from a set called the Aprocrypha. While I don’t see these as inspired by God in the same way as others, I do think it could be useful to read them.
The protocols find their chosen host in Bumblebee who quickly returns to Prime to find out what is going on. Once Prime tells him what is happening to him he has a vision of Alpha Trion that gives him more detail and sets him on the path of aiding the Autobots. The Protocols set their own decision of whom shall recieve them after the death of one holding them, very similar to the Green Lantern rings (although not all Lantern corps work that way).
For many years only monks and clergy had written copies of the Bible. This was passed down from one generation to the next and making copies was in some cases tricky. Greek writings, which build the New Testament, did not have spaces between words or sentences but there is reason to think that Hebrew did. Then we got the Guttenberg Press. This changed everything! Now, it was easier and faster to make multiple copies of a writing and so we could finally allow more people to get copies.
So far as we have seen in these six episodes only one being can have the protocols but the Scripture Protocols tell us to spread them and allow anyone to read them.
Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as reminders on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19Teach them to your children, speaking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20Write them on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates,…Dueteronomy 11:18-20
…16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for instruction, for conviction, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work.2 Timothy 3:16-17
We have the joy and responsibility of sharing these protocols. Make sure you do this in grace-filled ways. Jesus never had to force anyone to read the Hebrew scriptures. Part of that was because they were so ingrained in the culture but Jesus also took the way of humility in many circumstances. He invited people to read them and remember them. He challenged the religious leaders about extra rules they tried to equate with scripture. He knew them himself and once, when only 12, he spent days at the Temple learning them and discussing them with others.
At one point in the series, the Decepticons send out a virus. This virus sought out and destroyed the protocols that had been given to Bumblebee. Not all nations allow the Bible to be given out and we have brothers and sisters in Christ being kept from receiving them. There are organizations trying to help believers who live in such areas. I recommend doing a google search and finding one you feel comfortable supporting.
Now, these 6 episodes we have right now are only the first of three parts. Will Bumblebee get back the Protocols somehow? What dangers await our intrepid heroes? I don’t know but I look forward to the fun that is awaiting us.