Good morning! We made it to Friday…the 13th! Yikes! Stay safe out there!
Today’s scripture: Luke 1:46-55 The Message
And Mary said,
I’m bursting with God-news;
I’m dancing the song of my Savior God.
God took one good look at me, and look what happened—
I’m the most fortunate woman on earth!
What God has done for me will never be forgotten,
the God whose very name is holy, set apart from all others.
His mercy flows in wave after wave
on those who are in awe before him.
He bared his arm and showed his strength,
scattered the bluffing braggarts.
He knocked tyrants off their high horses,
pulled victims out of the mud.
The starving poor sat down to a banquet;
the callous rich were left out in the cold.
He embraced his chosen child, Israel;
he remembered and piled on the mercies, piled them high.
It’s exactly what he promised,
beginning with Abraham and right up to now.
I have a confession to make to you all, my friends. I absolutely LOVE love love a good superhero movie. It is one of my life indulgences that I don’t tell people all of the time. I don’t know where this love comes from…maybe from growing up in a household of boys who also liked watching superheroes…maybe just from the fancy movies…maybe from a longing to change the world. I am not sure but I love them. I don’t even have a favorite superhero…I just love them all. Growing up, my brothers and I would watch lots of superhero movies and I am sure that they all have a favorite (Batman for Andrew perhaps? Superman for Grant?)
Last night my friend Jeff and I went to see Thor. I. was. stoked. Right now, the Marvel movies are just so on my list of things that I love. So when Jeff mentioned that he might want to go see Thor…I immediately got excited and started planning. Yes, we would go see Thor on Thursday night.
What is not to love about this…..
True, some of the dialogue was not perhaps the most sophisticated (a couple of awesome lines like…”trust my rage.”) Yes, you could guess some of the plot along the way. And of course, it was set up beautifully for a sequel (I am soooo excited! I left the theater bouncing). And of course, there was a preview of another Marvel comic movie to come (who else is giddy about Captain America coming to the big screen?). But I loved every moment despite faults. Why? Superhero movies are epic. There is a grand scale problem that must be solved. There are character relationships that are important to resolve (how will Thor and Jane get together? He is a superhero and she is but mortal).
There is epic music to help us swell in the right places and stress in the right places. Our experience is tied to what is on screen. There is care for humans and knowledge that we must take care of each other. You don’t find this as much in action chase scenes or mystery. In superhero movies, we must find a better way.
And finally…why I LOVE superhero movies….the good always wins. Sure there may be something lurking still (again, set up for awesome sequels) but the good always wins. Good triumphs evil. Evil may take down some good people but they are remembered forever. Evil may cause some harm but good wins over and over and over again. This is something in my core I truly believe. Good wins. God overcomes evil.
Although our superhero story isn’t much of a superhero story. God doesn’t come racing in with hammer in hand and takes down the bad guys. Instead, God blesses an unwed teenager by giving her the role of mothering Jesus, a vulnerable human who will also be God in the world. What kind of upside down plot is this? The people in Jesus time, and if I am honest this is me too, want God to come swooping in and take down the powers that be. They want Jesus to be an almighty king ruler who will make things right with force. Instead, Mary sings of a different kind of superhero in God. She sings of God bringing up the lowly and feeding the hungry. By this good, God will change the world and win over the bad guys. We will see a different kind of superhero movie play out. God will appear not as a warrior but as a baby. I can’t wait to see how God will prevail and how good will win by upside down ways.
What do you think? Who is your favorite superhero?