Faith & Fandom
Justice League/Avengers – Strength In Numbers
Updated: Feb 13, 2021
Somewhere in the course of super hero history, comic book companies realized they could sell a lot more issues with the cross over (taking heroes from one comic and placing them in another) like putting Superman and Batman together in “World’s Finest,” or Batman and anyone else in “Brave And The Bold.” Bottom line, there was strength in numbers. You put together a whole team together and you will have a greater response. More people will buy and read a group book than just individual title. From “Justice League,” “Avengers,” “X-Men,” “Fantastic Four,” the more people the better. Even in movies, “The Avengers” made more than every other individual super hero movie to this day. Outside of just being cool and interesting, there’s a point to this. We shouldn’t be alone. You know what the first negative statement in the Bible is? Genesis 2:
From the very beginning God did not want us to be alone, not just for emotional well being, but for the fact we are designed to live in community. Being realistic, this always was kind of a silly concept in the super hero community. Like why would you need Batman on a team with Superman and Green Lantern? Or in The Avengers movie what good was Black Widow, seriously? Sometimes we get that attitude where we feel like we are the super humans. That we are completely self- sufficient and no one else really has anything they can offer. I find myself doing this all the time. I feel like I can’t really depend on anyone else to do things with the same level of commitment I do them, so rather than seek assistance, I just keep doing everything on my own. That usually leads to getting burned out.
If you are in a super hero setting, that usually leads to you getting captured by a super 18 “The LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’”
villain, or getting shot with a Kryptonite bullet and drug through a sewer (Superman / Batman #1 – Jeff Loeb).
Sometimes it’s not about the other person being as capable as you, or even seeing things from your perspective. It’s just knowing that someone is there to have your back when and if you need them. In Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 we see a great perspective of this.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Now maybe you’re thinking, “Well that’s cool and all for super heroes, but I don’t plan on forming a team or asking my friends to wear spandex or fight crime.” Being in community is more than just for the big chaotic moments in life; it’s for getting through the everyday parts. Going to church is not just about hearing someone preach or singing songs. One of the biggest reasons to be involved in a church is to be in community. “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” – Hebrews 10:24-25.
I spent a good chunk of my adult life as a missionary and traveled from church to church on Sundays. We would share about the ministry, successes, needs, etc. This really didn’t allow me the chance to get the full effect of being a part of a church family. For the last few years of being a pastor I really see the difference. My daughters growing up see their church family more than their biological family. We are loved and cared for in ways we couldn’t be on our own. I mean seriously, look how the early church lived.
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” – Acts 2:42-47
That is the kind of community God desires for us. I know it can be really easy to want to do everything on your own. To be like Batman or Wolverine and brood in a corner. But being a part of a team, a part of a family can truly change your life. Here’s the thing, I have a wife and 3 kids. I have a church family, a college ministry, a youth ministry, and a gaggle of facebook friends. There are times I still feel like I’m completely alone. God wants us to stay in community, not just so we can have fellowship with others, but because as we gather with others it helps us to see and know God better. To hear their perspective, learn from their mistakes, learn to appreciate what they love, and see what God can teach you from their story. Don’t isolate yourself; be willing to truly be a part of something bigger than yourself.
“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” – Matthew 18:20