Thursday, May 14, 2015

Echoes of Eden in Avengers: Age of Ultron

In Echoes of Eden, Jerram Barrs writes:
      In fact, we may propose as a principal that the themes of all great art-
      -whether produced by Christians or by non-Christians-- are the world 
      and human life as they came from from the hand of God; the world
      and human life as they now are subject to sorrow, sin, and death; and
      the world and human life as we long for and look forward to their restoration.

In "Avengers: Age of Ultron," the last two themes are evident. The Avengers are in a battle with an individual who is bent on ruling and/or destroying the world. Upon invading the headquarters of their adversary, the heroes take a piece of Norse mythology that is extremely powerful. Iron Man, aka Tony Stark, sees this as the final piece in his dream of creating a peaceful world without fear. He attempts to join the program that was captured with his own program in an attempt to create an artificial intelligence that would be the ultimate peacekeeper.

Unfortunately, the attempt goes awry, as all human attempts do. History is littered with the wreckage of man's efforts to bring about the ultimate peace. That longing still persists, as the movie ends with new recruits joining the Avengers in the ongoing attempt to protect the world and bring peace. We who follow Jesus see that longing played out in our attempts to be the peacemakers Jesus calls us to be. Sometimes we try to do this in our own strength and wisdom. The result often turns out the same as that of Tony Stark's misguided effort.

Should we give up trying to be peacemakers and seeking reconciliation? Should governments abandon efforts to negotiate
peace? I believe the answer is no. We should seek and work for peace and reconciliation whenever we can. As we do so, we must remember that it is the Spirit of Christ who is the ultimate peace giver, whether between individuals or nations. We also need to realize that the peace we seek may not be realized in this life. Of course, the ultimate peace and restoration of this world and human life will only happen when Christ returns and fully establishes the Kingdom.

Until then we will continue to hear echoes of Eden in music, film, art, literature, and in our own hearts. We can be encouraged, because we know that some day we will hear more than just echoes.

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