Read Matthew 28:18-20
ALSO IN SCRIPTURE
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
Released in the summer of 2011, The Dark Knight rises was visionary director Christopher Nolan’s conclusion to his Dark Knight trilogy. The trilogy follows the story of Bruce Wayne, who as a boy, watched the cold-blooded murder of his parents right before his innocent eyes. That night, the innocence of that boy was stolen and the person known as Bruce Wayne died. As he grew up his need for vengeance grew and ended up, as an adult, taking the law into his own hands and deciding to fight against crime and corruption.
Thus, the Batman is born. Yet, Bruce Wayne does more than just fight crime. As he combats criminals he realizes that, as only one person, he can only do so much. He also learns from some wise people around him, that he is not truly helping anyone one if does everything for him. Thus, the Wayne develops the Batman as a symbol for the people of Gotham. This symbol not only represents impartial justice, but he represents the need for empowerment. The Batman’s sole purpose is not to fight crime for the people, but to inspire and empower the people to rise up and put an end to the corruption.
In the film, the Dark Knight rises, the Batman does just that. He becomes a symbol for the people to look to and find hope. He becomes a symbol for the people to rally behind. He becomes a symbol for the people to step up and replace. One of the most inspiring parts of the film is when the Batman can be seen, in broad daylight, fighting along side the people. In this part he is not the highlight of the scene, rather he is just one of hundreds of extras doing his part with the rest of them. What a powerful message to send to people in this day and age where we are on the constant look our for political leaders and local heroes to come in and save the day, as opposed to stepping up and doing what we need to do to save the day ourselves.
The church is no different. We often look to God and ask for God to come in and save us, for God to come in and right the wrongs, for God to do what it is that we should be doing ourselves. Yet, in comes Jesus of Nazareth who sets out to be more than a magical miracle worker; rather, Jesus’ purpose was to become a symbol for us that would give us hope and empower us to join him in the mission of bringing hope, healing and wholeness to all who need it. Christ not only comes in and “saves us” but is a symbol that we too can rise up with the Son and be an agent of salvation in this broken world.
To be agents of salvation we must first understand what salvation means. It does not mean getting people to verbally profess what we believe to be the way, the truth and the life. Rather it means for us to allow God to work in us, through us and in spite of us in away that connects others to the hope, healing and wholeness (aka grace) that God wants them to receive. We are called to not only preach the Gospel with our mouths, but to preach it through our actions.
If someone is starving the Good News is food. If some one feels alone, then our presence would be good news. If someone is naked, clothing would be good news. For those who are lost spiritually, representing the presence of God is good news. Rather than waiting around for Christ to come in like a superhero, we should be actively seeking to rise up with Christ and work side-by-side with him to combat hopelessness in our community. This is what Christ has empowered and equipped us to do. It’s time to join the risen Son!
THOUGHT OF THE DAY
“A hero can be anyone. Even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat around a young boy’s shoulders to let him know that the world hadn’t ended.” – Batman
Lord, continue to empower and equip me to rise up alongside of you for the glory of your Kingdom. Amen.