After much anticipation, “Avengers: Endgame” captured the world’s attention this weekend, filling theaters and smashing records on the way to wrapping up Marvel’s 22-film story arc that started with “Iron Man” in 2008. Finally, we see the outcome of the battle between Thanos and “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.”
As people, we are innately captivated by a hero’s journey. Where did they come from? What motivates them? How do they overcome the obstacles in front of them? And of course, what is the outcome of the final showdown?
This is even true for heroes who aren’t found on the big screen. Most heroes aren’t found there anyway. They’re largely normal people who profoundly impact our lives. By learning their stories, we become better people. They inspire us.
At Buckner, we’re introduced to new heroes each day when they walk in the doors of our ministries. We become part of their origin stories as we learn about them and their lives. In a way, we become their sidekicks as we help them often fight difficult pasts and even harder presents. We’re there as parents strengthen their families and children embrace forever families. We see them change their respective worlds.
All of us have a role to play in life. Sometimes we’re the hero; other times we’re the sidekick. Hebrews 11 is often referred to as the “Hall of Faith.” Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, the Israelites fleeing Egypt, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, Rahab and the Old Testament prophets are all praised for their faith.
Look at the list again. Some were leaders of large numbers of people. But others were not. Regardless, they strove to follow God. And they paid a price for that to the benefit of all of us.
Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated — the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.
These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. –Hebrews 11:35-40>
This week, how will you live out your faith heroically? How will you follow God and help others to do likewise?