My kids are into the Avengers. And by “into” I mean “slightly obsessed,” so I know the theme song to the cartoon very well. They make me yell “Avengers Assemble” every time, and as I do, the lyrics lodge themselves in my cranium. It struck me, the ten thousandth time I heard it, that certain portions of the lyrics could actually pass for a contemporary worship song.
Always we will fight as one
‘Til the battles won
With evil on the run
We never come undone
Assembled we are strong
Forever fight as one
Sounds like something you’d hear on a station that is “safe and fun for the whole family,” doesn’t it? It’s all fine and good as a theme song for a cartoon series about mythical folks doing incredible things (with style) but when those same sentiments are expressed in connection to the body of Christ I get a little twitchy. Super heroes are entertaining, and even educational, but in real life we are not the heroes of our own stories. We are not a collection of enhanced people, made even more remarkable by having come together in a common purpose. We are not the Avengers.
God is the hero of our tale, and we are the rebellious masses fighting Him and each other as He builds us into a Bride He cherishes. Instead of a great unified force, the fact that we ever agree on anything is a tribute to the transforming power and grace of God’s work in our lives. For super heroes to be even more super together is rational. For the Church of Christ to have not only survived, but thrived, blossomed, spread across the entire globe, is the sort of foolishness in which the Lord specializes.
Sure, the Avengers are cool, but let’s not be deceived: the church built on the covenant promises of a faithful God is SO MUCH cooler.