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I haven’t seen Avengers: Endgame yet. Please don’t spoil it for me.* I mean, I’m assuming the good guys win this time, but who knows. When last we left the Avengers, Thanos (big purple bad guy) had smoked half the universe. Tony Stark (Iron Man) was trapped on another planet. Spiderman was DEAD.
You don’t kill Spiderman. Come on!
For over a decade I’ve followed along the adventures of the Avengers. Back when it all started, you might have found me at a midnight showing on opening day. Since then I’ve had kids and started doing the morning show – so my days of late night movies are OVER. Even with the added expense of babysitting, I still usually find a way to go see the big superhero movies in the theater. It’s my chosen luxury. Not only do I find the movies incredibly fun, but it reminds me of a simpler time in life, filled with friends, time and disposable income.
I was recently talking to my kids about Thor (their mommy’s favorite Avenger, because: Chris Hemsworth) and that led to the topic of mythology and storytelling. My kids are 9 (Kaylee) and 5 (Ben) and it was a cool discussion about how God used stories to communicate deeper truths. Kaylee immediately connected the dots to the parables that Jesus told.
A good story, at its heart, communicates Truth. Not a version of truth, but a real, deeply recognizable truth. Jesus told stories to describe God’s kingdom. It’s something that we can’t quite understand, but we get a general sense that it is incredibly important. Like the parable of the Hidden Treasure (wow, that sounds like an Indiana Jones movie, right?).
The gist is that a man discovers a great treasure – so he buries it. Then goes and sells EVERYTHING so he can buy the land that this great treasure is on. (Matthew 13:44) The story is literally two sentences long, and yet we learn something amazing about God’s coming Kingdom: it is more valuable than anything you or I have and we should do whatever it takes to be a part of it.
Jesus told a two sentence story that got his audience crazy excited about God’s Kingdom. Apparently Avengers: Endgame is three hours long. Three. Hours. Jesus didn’t need an intermission to set imaginations on fire. Then again, He was serving fish and bread instead of buttery popcorn, so there’s a little give and take. I’m all for superhero movies – especially when they touch on those universal truths about what it means to be human. But even better than the truth of humanity is the truth that we are MORE than merely human when we join the family of God.
Our God sent us His only Son, who so happens to be the greatest hero of all time. My encouragement to you – spend as much time reading, listening and watching His stories as I do watching Avenger movies. Which is a LOT of time.
*After writing this blog, my wife surprised me with a date out to see the movie – so I am MORE THAN WILLING to geek out about it. Just email me: [email protected].