Sunday at Scarboro – April 15, 2018

Worship Start Time:  10:30am
Theme: Superheroes - Wonder Woman

The coffee is hot at 10:00am, come in and get comfortable. Service begins at 10:30 and is followed by coffee and conversation.

This month we explore faith through the archetypes of our popular heroes, come check it out, we might surprise you!

Co-op gift cards in denominations of $25, $50 and $100 are available after church; a percentage of the proceeds goes back to the church.

You can also get your tickets for 'Experience This!' an evening of Gospel Music and a terrific Experiences Auction. Saturday, April 28 at 7pm. Get your ticket while they last!


Superhero Sermon Series: Wonder Woman
April 15, 2018
Rev. Erin Klassen

 

Batman used to be my favourite superhero. For a lot of the reasons that Lee mentioned last week. Mainly that he is just a regular guy, wounded, but also resourceful and determined.

 

This past year, I’ve really come around to Wonder Woman.

I love her for so many reasons:

  • That she’s not an “add on” to a male superhero, such as Batgirl or Supergirl, this is the movie that I waited for for so long - a female superhero in the lead role.
  • The ways in which she flips the script on what it does mean to be a hero,
  • The ways in which her origins and purpose, align so closely with our own as Christians.

 

The Amazons describe themselves as a bridge to better understanding between all people. This is their code:

Let all who read these words know that we are a nation of women, dedicated to our sisters, and to the peace that is humankind’s right. We have been gifted with the mission to unite the people of our world with love and compassion. We are dedicated to the ideals of uniting all people, all sexes, and all creeds. We will overcome hatred with love.

 

A bit of the backstory:

Wonder Woman’s secret identity is Diana Prince. Or rather, Diana: Princess of Themyscira. She is an Amazon, a secret tribe of women, that live in a place also known as Paradise Island. The Amazons were created by the Greek gods to inspire the rest of the world to pursue truth and justice. They lived in peace for many centuries, or so the story goes. Hippolyta and sister Antiope ruled together for three thousand years. But the Queen’s deepest desire was for a child. She met with a priestess, who told her to sculpt a child out of the clay of the island and to wait for a miracle.

 

In this story, I hear the story of Hannah, and Sarah and Elizabeth, and so many of us whose desires stretch on for what feels like forever, whose longings are unfulfilled, who ache with wanting, and pray so fervently.

 

This clay child is brought to life, some stories say by Zeus himself, to be the protector of humanity against Ares the god of war, of death and destruction. That sounds familiar, no? A gift, a sacrifice from God, to save people from sin and death. Other stories say that all of the gods of Olympus created her together. Indeed she is gifted with their power -

  • The wisdom of Athena
  • The power and strength of Demeter (goddess of the earth)
  • The beauty and loving heart of Aphrodite
  • The speed and flight of Hermes
  • The skills of a great huntress and the ability to communicate with animals from Artemis.

 

Her story borrows from our story, like each one of us, she is of the earth and created in the image of God.

 

She has so much to show us in that regard.

 

Diana chooses to leave her home after Steve Trevor, an American pilot and spy in World War I crash lands on Themyscira, bringing the awareness of the war to the Amazons.

 

Faced with the idea of a world at war, Diana determines that she must go.

She is convinced that this is the work of Ares, the god of war, sowing discontent and conflict among people, reaping death and destruction. Steve, is less convinced, but willing to help her in her mission, as his goal is the same. Perhaps, it is not unlike our Epistle reading for today:  the world doesn’t recognize us or take us seriously, because it has no idea who God is, or what God is up to.

 

Video clip, Scene 4: 35.58-38.35

 

She cannot stand by while innocent lives are lost.

She is willing to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves.

In choosing to leave, she is leaving her life behind.

But who will she be if she stays?

 

It’s not unlike our own calling and mission.

 

To stand up for the innocent, to give voice to the oppressed, to leave our old ways of life behind, for new life in Christ.

 

Her mission (our mission) is to give hope to those who are without hope and bring justice to those who are facing evil.

 

On her mission, Wonder Woman, is dismayed to find that the “good guys” aren’t alway good. In fact, they are often downright bad. Those who accompany her on her mission include a spy, a swindler, a smuggler and a sniper. And yet they are also working for the good of all, for truth and equality and justice. Living out the words of John -  the person that does what is right, is righteous.

 

She is fully equipped in combat skill, trained by the best Amazon warriors, but motivated by love, not vengeance. She is guided by love and compassion. And she uses her emotions as a catalyst for action.

 

Indeed, some of the funniest scenes in the movie are her innocence and openness when faced with the world. When she tries to make sense of early 20th century dress or sees a baby or tastes ice cream for the first time. These same traits also make for some of the more heart wrenching moments as well. She cannot walk past what others do, because she is seeing the pain and despair for the first time. Her heart is not hardened.

 

To me, this is the beauty of this movie, of this hero.

The director of Wonder Woman, Patty Jenkins says “The greatest thing about Wonder Woman is how good and kind and loving she is, yet none of that negates any of her power.”

 

In a world that has the potential to harden our hearts, in a society in which we can tend to be disconnected from one another, this is refreshing. I would even say revolutionary. Wonder Woman shows us what Alice von Hildebrand writes in The Privilege of Being a Woman, “Tears are the proper response to brutality, injustice, cruelty, blasphemy, hatred. Christ wept when he saw Jerusalem, and when he came to Lazarus’ tomb.”

 

Then she acts upon that pain and frustration and anger, in really powerful and moving ways.

 

Because she knows what we often forget, what Christ came into the world to show us. We might not think that we deserve redemption, but we are redeemable. And love is the key to redemptive change.

 

Video clip, Scene 11: 2.12.04-2.13.22

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