HOW THE AVENGERS ARE LIKE CHURCH (AND OTHER DEEP THOUGHTS)i

In case you weren’t aware, the biggest movie in the world right now is a comic book movie. Fans have been eagerly awaiting this movie for a long time. Not only will this film continue the story of the Avengers, a group of superheroes brought together in the first films, but it will also bring to fruition many of the storylines begun in previous Marvel movies.

There is, of course, a cosmic threat not just to Earth but to the entire universe in the person of Thanos. Thanos has the power to destroy half of all life with a snap of his fingers, and the only ones who can even begin to think of facing him, … are the Avengers!

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The Avengers are made up of a diverse group. The billionaire, the scientist, the alien, the patriot, the soldier and the assassin. In this movie they are joined by many others who must all come together as one unit. They come from a wide variety of different backgrounds and from very differing viewpoints. They bring different skills, talents and abilities to the fight. However, ultimately they may only be successful when they put aside their differences and unite to achieve their common goal.

One of the things I love about these “team up” type comics and movies is that in many ways it reminds us of the beauty of the church. We all come from different backgrounds and we bring our own experiences and beliefs to the table. Yet Christ unites us, not just in a common mission, but together in a common love. And when we put those differing skills, talents and abilities together; the church can be a tremendous force in this world.

 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, Ephesians 4:11-12

The Marvel movies continue to be popular, even though critics have for years decreed that comic book movies were a fad that would “run its course.” It is hard for some people to understand why these movies still continue to make money. I think it’s because they offer something our world is tremendously short of right now … hope.

When the situation looks dire, when it seems as if there is no way to win, the Avengers pull together and stand stronger as a group than any of them can alone. There is always hope. Even when it seems hopeless.

I love that! Because that is the story of the church. We offer hope.

Today I was able to visit with a family who was burying a wife and mother. But there was not weeping and gnashing of teeth. There was not torn clothing and agony. Why? Because of hope. The hope that is found in Jesus Christ. That is the hope that stands when everything in this dark world falls. Hope.

I hope you have found a place to plug in your unique talents, gifts and abilities in the church. There are many avenues that are available for a variety of differing skills. Whether it be in women’s ministry, men’s ministry, children’s ministry, Prime Timers, Youth, Education or any of the other opportunities available; however you are gifted, there is a place for you to serve. Because just like the Avengers, we are all stronger when we stand united together. And just like the Avengers, the hope of the entire world is in our hands.

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