Avengers and the Church: A Reflection by Bill

Sometimes I think I am crazy…looking for faith in the darkness of a movie theater. Why would God place such clues to faith in the movies?  But they’re there!  And this week I found it. I found the Church…in the Avengers.

Let me show you…

  • The Church is made up of imperfect people…just like the Avengers! The Avengers feature people as different and unique as a big green guy with anger problems(Hulk), a fallen god(Thor), an old man just awakened from cryogenic slumber(Captain America), a woman with a history(Black Widow), and an egotist(Iron Man). What a varied, imperfect lot is assembled!  Just like the church.  For, though we are forgiven, we are just as imperfect as these heroes are.
  • Each of these people come with different gifts. From technical aptitude to strength, to knowledge of the world, to everything in between. Not one of them is unique. Just like the church! “There are various gifts but the same Spirit!”(1 Cor. 12:4)
  • The fight they have is ultimately with powers much larger than they…Paul tells the church: “We do not fight against flesh and blood but against the powers…of this present darkness.”(Ephesians 6:12)  Sin, death, and the devil are our Lokie and alien horde.  Our fight is not against each other or against anything native to this world, but against what truly separates us from God.
  • The heroes fight…with each other! From the fight Thor has with Iron Man, to Captain America and Tony Stark’s bickering, these Avengers like to fight with each other!  And boy, we Christians are good at fighting against each other too. Sometimes in the same church. Sometimes in different churches! If you find the fighting between the Avengers weary, maybe you should take a look at your church. We do a whole lot of fighting amongst ourselves too!
  • When they do come together, though, the Avengers are unstoppable!  At the end of the movie, they do put aside their differences.  And they are able to save the world against unspeakable odds!   The Church is the same way! I wager if the church universal could set aside its differences and focus on Christ, oh the marvels the Holy Spirit would do in this world! We can already see that true when one or two churches get together to accomplish something…or when people in the same church focus on something outside themselves.  When we set aside our differences for a larger goal, the effects can be felt throughout the world.
  • Finally…the place we end up meeting is at the dinner table.  For this one you have to stay to the very END of the credits.  There you see the Avengers sharing a meal of Shawarma together.  The words have all been said.  The fighting is over.  All that is left is the meal.  We too, in the church, after all the fighting is done, we too find ourselves together at the table of our Lord Jesus Christ.  When all is said and done, we will meet together as one church at the wedding feast of the Lamb…perhaps eating Shawarma with the ones we disagreed with just moments ago in life.

So there you have it.  The Avengers as the church!  Not a perfect metaphor, but one nevertheless.  And, I have to admit, at the end I got a little teary eyed.  I almost wish we were the Avengers.  At least they can seem to get along(finally) at the end.  Maybe we have to realize that we’re in the middle of the movie.  The defeat of sin and death and the devil, though accomplished on the cross, hasn’t caught up with us yet.  We’re still in the fight.  We can only look forward to the meal at the end that will be out of this world!


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