“Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.” – GK Chesterton
Last year alone, superhero films grossed more than $4 billion worldwide.
Disney, which now owns Marvel and Star Wars films and has been built on animated fairy tales, is worth nearly $100 billion.
People LOVE superheroes and fairy tales. I love superheroes and fairy tales!
Why? Why, as humans, are we so drawn to stories of good and evil…to characters in need of rescue, fearsome villains, and selfless heroes who save the day? Why are we so obsessed with happily ever after?
We were created for happily ever after. We are the princes and princesses in distress – languishing far from where we were meant to live. There is a conniving villain constantly trying to convince us that we are fine and not in need of a rescuer. And there is a selfless hero – our Father and our King – who has saved the day and made happily ever after possible again.
And yet we settle for the towers in which we’re trapped, as if they’re our home. We sit in our towers, cowering from the dragon, while the vanquisher stands waiting to intervene on our behalf. Waiting to wrap us up in His arms and pull us out. Because we know the tower. We think we’re comfortable in the tower. We think we’re in control in the tower. In order to be rescued, we have to let go of the familiar and trust that the rescuer is good and kind. We have to trust that our hero has a better life for us beyond the tower.
Hebrews is a call to trust that Jesus is a hero worth trusting in. This letter is a call to yell “Yes!” to the Rescuer when He asks whether we need help. It is an invitation to share in His glorious rest – in His heavenly calling – in His happily ever after. It is a reminder that He and He alone slays dragons – especially the enemy who comes to seek, kill, and destroy. It is a reminder that here, on this earth, in this life, we will face trials. We will face wilderness. We will face suffering. We will face death itself. But have no fear. Because sorrow lasts for the night, but because of Jesus, joy truly does come in the morning.
Hebrews 3 reminds us of this: Do not harden your hearts. It’ll be tough. You’ll experience suffering that did not exist in Eden and will not exist in heaven. You’ll be tempted to sin and you will sin at times – but trust that Jesus is better. RUN from temptation. Repent of your sins. Don’t be duped by the enemy who tells you your dingy, dark tower is better than your Rescuer’s kingdom. Choose the kingdom. As often as you can. The Holy Spirit will enable you to do so. And leave no man behind. When any one of you is tempted to believe your sin will lead to happily ever after, join together to remind him or her that Jesus is better. The kingdom of God is better. This is not only about you. It is about you all. Collectively. Serving a Rescuer who loves you all more than you can possibly imagine.
So as you enjoy superhero movies and fairy tales, rest in this – there is a real life Hero who supersedes them all. His name is Jesus.
See you Sunday!