I’ve spent this past Monday afternoon with a couple hundred grade schoolers here at Venue 302… yeah, day off!
Actually, it’s been fun. They are being rewarded for making their end of the year reading goals by getting the afternoon free from class and kicking back to watch a movie here at our facilities. So, with popcorn and cookies in hand these kiddos sat down to watch The Tale of Despereaux.
I had never seen it, kinda cute.
As the movie was getting underway and the plot was setting up, the ‘stinger’ line is given: “A hero never appears until the world needs one“.
Enter title character Despereaux.
A great little movie about bravery, hope and the little guy making it big. But, I started thinking about the premise.
Is it true? Do heros wait to appear when they are needed? Do circumstance create our saviors?
At first, there seems to be some Biblical support for this. Galatians chapter four says:
4But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, 5to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.
Just looking at this verse it appears that God waited to send Jesus until we needed Him, but that can’t be right…
If that logic were correct then it would mean humans hadn’t pegged out the sin meter unil 2,000 years ago, and there was no need for a Savior until Jesus actually made the scene at the BC/AD split.
And, that’s so not true. If you look at Scripture, all through the Old Testament (for thousands of years) God’s people had been looking forward to a Savior, a need for redemption, the hope of a Messiah. Right after creation came was the fall for us all and the promise of a Fix. A Hero was needed from the beginning.
And, obviously its not that we don’t need a Saviour anymore, either. Beleive me, no one is arguing that we got things figured out post-New Testament. Jesus coming at Christmas and dying at Easter as historical events were heroic for all of humanity, but what does this passage from Galatians mean when it says that, “When the time had fully come, God sent his Son”?
Theologically, it’s less a statement about the coming of the Rescuer and more about the readiness of the rescuees. When Jesus came 2,00 years ago the world was at a crossroads of some firsts during a time period called the Pax Romana (The Peace of Rome):
- For the first time since the Towel fo Babel there was a common/dominant world language (Greek)
- There was a common culturual motiff (Hellenism) that unified the civilized world
- There was an international road system and trade route
- There was more governmental protection and peace than had ever been experienced to date
All of this meant there had never been a better time for a message, a religion, a belief system to gain a foothold and find safe passage all around the world…when the time had fully come, God sent his Son…good timing.
So, this is not a verse about a Hero apearing when He was needed.
Jesus was needed from the beginning. He is needed today. And, He will be needed for all eternity.
So, while our Tale of Despereaux is a cute flick… it’s stinger line, not a great one to live by.
Too many times as a pastor I have talked with people who have bottomed out, spiritually flatlined and face planted in life. Then, in their moment of complete despair they are shocked and amazed to find that Jesus is their, waiting with arms open wide… well no duh, doofus.
Sorry, I forgot to take my vitamin C for Compassion this morning.
Jesus doesn’t appear in our lives like some spiritual ninja when we jack it all up. He’s been their all along.
In the real world heros don’t appear when you need them. They are there everyday, but we don’t pay attention to them until we want to, or more correctly, until we have to.
So, if there would be a lesson for us to learn today it’s this: don’t let your life become a Tale of Desperation.
Our Hero, Savior, Messiah, Lover, Redeemer, King, Friend and Lord has already come.
When we wait until the crisis to turn to Him, or we try to write our own novel free of the Hero character until we ‘have to’ write Him in, we are missing some of the best chapters of the story.
We should turn to Him today before we need an even bigger rescue. Our Hero wants to be a part of the everyday storyline.
Jesus wants to be a part of your story today.
1. Take a half hour walk alone with your Hero and talk about what the rest of this week will hold
2. Turn off the TV and read a little of the Hero’s tale: I’d start with JOHN if you don’t know where to begin
4. If you’re new to the CrossEyedLife, spend an hour and read a courple of article.watch a couple of videos
5. Go completely radical and “do something’ the Hero would do! Serve someone today in a radical way.
6. Whatever you do, do something different, or all you did was waste your time reading an article about a cartoon mouse movie… and, that would be stupid.