So today in service I talked about how I went into Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever thinking that I wouldn’t like it. I had reasons for thinking that, not just for the reasons mentioned in my sermon this morning (the main character was written out of the movie), but also because many of the Marvel productions as of late hasn’t really been that good for me (I know, it’s weird for me to say this).
But as I mentioned in the sermon, I actually really liked the movie, and even more so the more I think about it. Yes, it wasn’t what I expected out of a Black Panther movie, I was disappointed with how much the story departed from the source material, and many of the nuances in the personality of the remaining characters were lost because of the rewrites, but still, as a movie it was pretty good. Dare I say, as a Black Panther movie, it was pretty good.
So I’m learning to quell my expectations. I’m trying to see the good in what I might not have seen good in before. I’m starting to broaden my horizons and not be such a comic snob that can’t appreciate anything but my own flavour of preference.
Just because it isn’t what I want doesn’t mean that it isn’t good. Just because I think I won’t like it doesn’t mean I can’t. Just because I expect what I expect doesn’t make it the only right and true way.
I never thought I’d be humbled by a Marvel movie, but I guess that’s the landscape of our time.
There are many reasons why Jesus wasn’t and still isn’t accepted by many people, and I think these texts give us a glimpse into at least one of them. Jesus doesn’t meet the expectations that are put on him. We know that ancient Israel wanted a military leader. We know that many of poor had hoped he would relieve their poverty, and many of the rich wanted him to make them richer. Those were oppressed wanted to be set free and those who were ill wanted to be healed. Even these days, we want Jesus to take away our problems, fix the brokenness of the world, and help us find parking spots (and I’m not even joking).
But Jesus doesn’t do all those things, at least not always or in the ways that we expect. We still face hardship, pain, and death. We still have problems, aren’t as rich as we think we deserve, and are left wanting more. We still don’t live on easy street, we still are treated unfairly, and we still circle busy parking lots for those prime parking spaces.
And we call Jesus a King?
This Sunday is Christ the King Sunday, it’s a day that we recognise the reign of Christ. But it isn’t a reign like any that we know, but one of grace, mercy, and love. It isn’t as we might expect full of power and militaristic might, but one of gentleness and kindness to others. It isn’t what we want of riches and worry-free lives, but it is full of humble service and community.
So the Reign of Christ might not be what we expect, but it is better than anything the world can offer.
Thanks be to God for Christ our King! Have a great week, everyone!