The Gospel According to the Avengers

John Hill

Thus says the Lord: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool; what is the house that you would build for me, and what is the place of my rest?  All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the Lord.  But this is the one to whom I will look:  he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word."  Isaiah 66:1-2 (NIV)

“Just days after being released, The Avengers has become the fastest movie ever to earn one hundred million dollars, the fastest movie ever to earn one hundred and fifty million dollars and the fastest movie to ever earn two hundred million dollars.  [To be exact, the movie took in 207 million dollars in its opening weekend which nearly matched the entire budget of 220 million that it took to make the movie].  It also now boasts the highest grossing Saturday and Sunday in the history of the American motion picture industry.  To call it a hit would be an understatement (the next closest movie, Think like a man, brought in a mere 73 million dollars after 3 weeks in release).  It is quickly turning into a phenomenon, and with word of mouth almost exclusively positive, the film seems guaranteed to continue setting records." - Mack Rawden of www.cinemablend.com.

No doubt you may have been amongst the masses that took in The Avengers when it opened last weekend.  It certainly has become the talk of the town.  I have seen allusions to it on Facebook, twitter, in text messages, and all over the networks of social media.  And in a stunning development, people are actually talking about the movie face to face as well!  And yes, for the curious, I have seen the movie.

What stood out for me was a key scene in which Captain America prepares to jump out of a moving aircraft, which is flying thousands of feet in the air, in an effort to engage in battle with extra-terrestrial and, believe it or not, supernatural beings dressed in various uniforms and costumes.  At this point, one of his teammates warns him not to go because if he does, he will have to defeat a host of enemies who are stronger than he is, and among which are even some who “might be gods.”  Captain America, in his ever so calm and polite tone, counters with this:

“There’s only one God, ma’am, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t dress like that!”

I know it is just a movie, but once in a great while Hollywood stumbles around in their self-made darkness and gets it right.  There couldn’t be a more accurate proclamation than the one made in that scene by Captain America.  Because even in a Hollywood world of make-believe where people live on other planets, machines fly, and super heroes roam the universe, it is nice to see that sanity can emerge.  Because no matter how powerful these characters and their super powers seem to be, they all still have weaknesses somewhere; something that simply cannot be said of God.

Isaiah quotes God on these matters when the Lord rhetorically asks if there is a place that people can build which is fitting for a Sovereign Creator-God (the obvious answer is, “of course not”).  He goes on to state that the prerequisite for being God is the ability to say what you are going to do and then to do it.  Note God’s quote, “All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be.”  In other words, nothing that exists would exist without God’s hand in it.  He is the creator of life, the sustainer of life, and there is no place worthy to hold Him and no enemy worthy to defeat Him.  Captain America had it right: there is indeed only one God because there is only One Being who can state what He is going to do and at the same time have the absolute power to do it.

Amazingly, this almighty Creator-God receives people and shows them kindness and mercy.  All He requires is that we humble ourselves, recognize our need to be broken of our attachment to ourselves, and honor His Word by obeying it in our everyday lives.  No superhero or demi-god can ever live up to that or match that kind power or grace.

So if God does not dress like super heroes, then how does He dress?  Isaiah records a vision in Chapter 6 of his book that gives us some insight when he states that there are angels who proclaim to one another that God is, “Holy, holy, holy;” and that the, “whole earth is full of His glory!”  God’s Glory is His garment, the Glory of God is His Holiness.  God’s Holiness consists of His utter uniqueness, His divine character, His perfection.

We serve a powerful God who is wholly different from us and worthy of our praise.  The Avengers may be a great movie, by movies’ standards; but only God is awesome…by any standard!!  Look to Him today and praise Him because He is worthy.

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