The one reason why Sunday school is better than Endgame

In just over a week, one of the greatest moments in cinematic history will take place. Marvel’s Endgame, the sequel to Infinity War, will reunite beloved characters from over twenty Marvel movies released during the past decade. Ticket sales have already exceeded expectations, and records have been broken that will likely not be broken again – at least in my lifetime. What has made Marvel’s characters and the movies that tell their stories so engaging? Consider that there are characters who:

  • Have great powers
  • Come from far-off places
  • Sacrifice themselves for the greater good
  • Love one another
  • Put themselves in harm’s way so that others may live
  • Fight evil
  • Have their own flaws
  • Narrowly escape danger and certain death
  • Have super strength
  • Have healing abilities
  • Bend the laws of physics
  • Learn to work with others as a team

I could go on, but for time’s sake, that’s enough for now. The level of excitement about Endgame has never been seen before – it has generated so much interest and hype as fans anticipate opening day and the opening weekend of the movie.

Now, consider your church and your Sunday school for a moment. Is there just as much excitement? Is there just as much anticipation? Are people camping out, waiting to get in on Sunday? If your answer is “no,” then I wonder why not. If I read my Bible correctly, it contains hundreds of colorful characters whose story arcs intersect and intertwine, similar to the ways the characters in the Marvel universe do. In fact, consider that in the Bible, there are characters who:

  • Have great powers

    Daniel in the lion’s den
  • Come from far-off places
  • Sacrifice themselves for the greater good
  • Love one another
  • Put themselves in harm’s way so that others may live
  • Fight evil
  • Have their own flaws
  • Narrowly escape danger and certain death
  • Have super strength
  • Have healing abilities
  • Bend the laws of physics
  • Learn to work with others as a team

The point is, the Bible has just as many characters who do phenomenal things, similar to the characters in the Marvel cinematic universe, yet we don’t see the same excitement about them. Not even close! And the Bible’s characters have one thing that makes them better than any of  the characters in Marvel’s universe:

The stories in the Bible are true because these characters were real people who were (and are) a part of the greatest story that has ever been told.  Their stories are true because God’s Word is true.

You don’t have to go to the movie theater to find exciting stories of good versus evil, or stories that tell of personal sacrifice. There are stories that have tragic outcomes, and other stories that demonstrate how the tables can be turned on the worst of enemies. There are plenty of stories with dramatic, last-minute rescues. These are all part of the one big story, the story of redemption, which is Jesus’ story.

Tony Stark told Thor’s trickster brother, Loki, “We have a Hulk.” I could say, as a Christian, that “We have a Samson!” Spies? We got spies – 12 of them. Super soldiers? Check – got those, too. What about an iron man? Yep – we’ve got Roman soldiers in their battle gear, all suited up and ready to fight.

Christians need not apologize for anything. We have characters in our Bible that are just as, or more exciting and intriguing, than any of the ones you can pay to see on the big screen, and the ones in our Bible lived and walked on this planet, and now their stories are preserved in God’s Word for us to learn from.

What’s the one thing that separates the Bible’s stories and characters from the stories and characters of Marvel? Ours are about real people who lived and died right here – true stories in the world’s truest book. And we have the privilege of studying and learning from them every time we open our Bibles.

I’m ready to step in and be Stan Lee this coming Sunday, and make my cameo appearance as God’s people come together to study from the greatest book, and the truest story ever told.

As we approach Easter weekend, may we hear the words: “Christians – assemble!”

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