Tag Archives: Batman

Out of the Chaos

Read Genesis 1

ALSO IN SCRIPTURE
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.” (Psalms 46:1-3 NRSV)

KOccCrtIn the film, “The Dark Knight”, Heath Ledger plays my favorite version of the Joker. As a character actor, Ledger isolated himself and immersed himself in the role in order to “become” the joker. His interpretation of the Joker was that of a maniacal mass murderer who was hell-bent on projecting the inner chaos within his tormented soul out into the world at large. Sure, this Joker has all of the attributes that you’d expect the Joker to have: the clown face, the broad and menacing grin, the crazed laugh, and the green(ish) hair; yet, this Joker is wild, extremely dark and utterly chaotic.

There are many awesome quotes to pull from this Joker character that Ledger plays, but the one that struck me the most came toward the end of the film as it was approaching its tragic and climactic end. Sitting in the hospital next to the bedside of Harvey Dent, the District Attorney who the Joker severely burned with a gasoline explosion, the Joker began to explain himself. “I just did what I do best. I took your little plan and I turned it on itself. Look what I did to this city with a few drums of gas and a couple of bullets. Hmmm? You know… You know what I’ve noticed? Nobody panics when things go ’according to plan.’ Even if the plan is horrifying! If, tomorrow, I tell the press that, like, a gang banger will get shot, or a truckload of soldiers will be blown up, nobody panics, because it’s all ‘part of the plan’. But when I say that one little old mayor will die, well then everyone loses their minds!”

In that moment, the Joker hands Harvey Dent a gun and has him point it directly at his (the Joker’s) head, “Introduce a little anarchy,” the Joker continues. “Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. I’m an agent of chaos. Oh, and you know the thing about chaos? It’s fair!”

Whether or not chaos is actually fair, it is certainly indiscriminate. The world, much to our dismay, is filled with chaos and always has been. The Jews who were exiled in Babylon certainly understood what chaos was and they sought some sort of plan in order to explain why the chaos was surrounding them.

While the prophets tried to explain the chaos and the reasons it befell the Jews, the scribes did not for there is no real answer why. Yes, our bad decisions could help in creating chaos around us, as can the bad choices of others, as can the forces of nature. Yet, all of those are chaos because they are NOT a part of any sort of divine plan. Rather than explaining why, the priestly scribes wrote what we now know as Genesis 1, which tells of a God who, at the beginning, hovered over the chaos. What’s more, out of the chaos, God brought order and new life.

It is so easy for us to get caught up, or even tripped up, in the chaos of this world. It is easy for us to allow our lives to spin out of control and for us to fall into chaos ourselves. Who knows why the Joker became the Joker? Who really knows why he chose the path of chaos rather than the path of hope? There is really no explanation that answers those questions, and those questions really miss the point. The point if we succumb to the chaos around us in our lives we, too, become agents of chaos. Just like the Joker, we can choose to be chaotic, but God is calling us to let go of the control we think we have in our lives, to let go of the avoid chaos, and to let go of the fear that keeps us imprisoned within it. If we do that, and we need to trust in God in order to do that, then God will create order in the midst of the chaos and we, in the end will experience true and lasting peace.

THOUGHT OF THE DAY
“In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order.” – Carl Jung

PRAYER
“Lord, help me to trust in you, for I know that out of the chaos you bring order. I trust that you can do this in my life.” Amen.

Power to the People

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)

DARK KNIGHT RISESReleased 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

PRAYER

Lord, continue to empower and equip me to rise up alongside of you for the glory of your Kingdom. Amen.