There are two reasons why pastors see movies.
1) Entertainment – It’s quick, you don’t have to read it, and a cartoon character demands that you turn your phone off (not even my wife can get me to do that one.)
2) Sermon Illustrations – Movies are expensive, but they’re basically a ministry expense. (I’m about to get audited by the IRS aren’t I?)
First of all, I was entertained by Avengers: Age of Ultron. Second, I got quite a few sermon illustrations. (Not like Lord of the Rings quantity or quality, but nothing will quite reach that level.) I’ll speak universally for every Christian for a moment. All we really want is a Christian film that’s even half as cool as a Marvel movie. But until then, at least we can listen to sermons where the pastor vaguely connects movies we’ve all actually seen with bible passages we all pretend we’ve read.
So here is today’s vague connection sermon illustration. The Avengers are just the Judges with more over-the-top super powers.
Captain America (The First Avenger) = Othniel (The First Judge) The land was taken over by Nazis Canaanites, and the Allies Israelites were losing ground. So Americans Jehovah raised up a Avenger Judge, to rally the people and eventually win the war. Then he was frozen for 70 years and now leads Earth’s Mightiest Heroes! Then he served the people for 40 years before his death and everyone forgot all God had done.
Black Widow = Ehud The left-handed assassin. Straight-up cold-blooded killa’. Ehud walks right into King Eglon’s palace, extends the right hand of friendship, then takes the left hand and shoves it into the fat kings gullet. He’s so fat and you can’t even tell the knife is still in there, so Ehud props the king back up and walks out of the room like nothing happened. Can’t you see Scarlett Johansson doing the same thing to some fat Russian in a deleted scene?
Hawkeye = Shamgar Nobody cares about Shamgar. Nobody dresses up like Shamgar for church Halloween alternative parties. Hawkeye just has a raw deal in that he has to stand next to Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, and Captain America. That’s just emasculating.
Scarlett Witch (and Quicksilver) = Deborah (and Barak) She kicks butt, she’s more powerful than people give her credit for, and she steals every scene she’s in. He helps out a lot… but there’s no doubt, she’s in charge.
Thor = Gideon He’s the coolest right? He just wanted to live his life the way he wanted to; but he was called to something greater. He didn’t lead a huge army, but his rag-tag little group kicked some butt. Was I talking about Thor or Gideon… exactly. (And both dudes had complicated home lives that we really just don’t want to talk about. Thor has some messed-up mythology.)
Iron Man = Abimelech Few had heard of Iron Man before Robert Downey Jr. Few have heard of Abimelech until right now. In the right artists hands though, both stories are interesting. Abimelech is prideful. He wanted to be a king, and did some horrible things to get there (like massacred his 70 brothers.) His sins eventually led to him being overthrown. Aren’t Iron Man’s problems always his own? He “created” the villains in Ironman 1,2 & 3 and (Spoiler Alert!) Ultron himself. You are your own worst enemy Tony Stark! But man, you are funny, can’t wait to see you again (oops, another spoiler.)
Hulk = Samson Duh. This one is obvious. They both have super human strength, and are really hard to kill. They’re both smart half the time, and dumb as rocks the other half. And just like in Age of Ultron, a woman almost derailed the whole mission.
Samuel = The Vision Well he’s a type of Christ (that’s for a different sermon.) The Vision is an important character and ushers in some big stuff for the Marvel Universe – Thanos is coming. Just like Samuel who also ushers in a game changer for the nation of Israel – the King is coming.
The Supporting Cast
War Machine = Jephthah He’s in there a lot, but how necessary is he really?
Falcon = Ibzan A forefather of King David so he’s kind of important. Falcon should have been in the movie more, where was he in that final fight scene?
Maria Hill = Tola A judge for 23 years, yet nothing is remembered about him. Will that chick ever be more than that girl from “How I Met Your Mother?”
Heimdall = Jair Only serious Bible scholars could tell you Jair was a judge. Only serious comic book fans could tell you who Heimdall is (hint: he’s the only black guy in the white, Nordic realm of Asgard.)
Pepper Potts & Jane Foster = Elon & Abdon They’re mentioned.
Nick Fury = Eli Is Eli even a judge? Is Nick Fury even an Avenger? Handlers at best.
Ultron is the Philistines right? There’s a whole bunch of them, but the only one who has a name is the biggest one.