Posts Tagged ‘Marvel Universe’

Sermon 07-09-17: “Risking It All for Christ”

August 4, 2017

The Christians to whom the apostle Peter was writing were willing to risk everything for the sake of their faith in Christ. Why? Because they understood how high the stakes were: People they knew and loved were living and dying apart from a saving relationship with God through Christ. What about us? Do we live as if we understand those stakes?

Sermon Text: 1 Peter 3:17-18

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As is my tradition when I go on vacation, I took my boys to a movie. We saw Spider-Man: Homecoming. And it was great! And we were supporting our local economy: a lot of it was filmed in Fayetteville.

In the movie, there’s a suspenseful scene in which our hero, who is really just a teenage boy named Peter Parker, is racing up the side of the Washington Monument, in an effort to save some of his high school classmates, who are trapped in an elevator at the top—and the elevator is about to come crashing down. You’ll recall that Spider-Man has the power for his hands and feet to “stick” to surfaces, like a spider.

Don’t look down, Spider-Man!

So Peter is racing up the side of the monument. Suddenly, when he’s at the top of the monument, where the obelisk comes to a point, he looks down, and he’s afraid. Afraid of heights. Afraid of falling. His Spider-Man suit has Siri—or, like, a really advanced version of Siri whom he has named “Karen.” Karen asks him what’s wrong, and he says, “I’ve never been this high up before!” And “Karen,” in this very chipper, cheerful tone of voice, tells him: “Peter, because you forgot to reload your built-in parachute, a fall from this height will do doubt prove fatal.” Thanks, Karen, for that encouragement!

But my point is, the stakes for Peter Parker couldn’t be higher. Every move he makes on top of that monument is potentially a matter of life or death.

And brothers and sisters, the apostle Peter is writing to a group of Christians for whom being faithful to Jesus was also a matter of life or death. And they knew it! They knew that their allegiance to Christ—that their faithfulness to him and his mission—could cost them their lives. And they were O.K. with that—or at least they were trying to be.

This was the attitude of the early church! This was the attitude of Peter, who, as I said last week knew he had an appointment to keep with the executioner; Jesus warned him about that in John chapter 21. And Peter says later in this letter, “But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.”[1] This was the attitude of Paul—“that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.”[2] This was the attitude of the writer of Hebrews: “Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured.”[3] Read the rest of this entry »