• Faith & Fandom

Shazam: The Touch of Captain Sparkle Fingers



I’m a Zachary Levi fanboy. I’ve love him from his hosting house

churches back in the day, Tangled, Chuck, Operation Smile,

Nerd HQ, Nerd Machine, and so much more. I’m a fan of who

he is and what he does. I met him at Dragon Con in Atlanta

very shortly before he was announced as Shazam, and I was so

happy that he hadn’t gotten the role. After seeing the film, I

couldn’t have been happier with the it.

Well, maybe if Tawny was in it, but still.

There’s a lot I loved about the movie, but there were three

lessons I really clung to I’m going to share with you.

#1: No One Is Worthy

As the film begins, Sivana is brought before the wizard to be

tested to receive the power of the champion. Of course, it

doesn’t go well. The sins tempt him, he succumbs, and the

next thing you know, he is getting zapped by a wizard and told

he will never be worthy. I know Sivana was a bit of an annoying

kid, but that’s still a pretty harsh statement to hit a kid with. It

obviously affected him, because years later when he finally

made his way back to the Rock of Eternity, he picked up right

where they left off. He asked the Wizard this:

“You know what it’s like for a child to be told ‘You’ll

never be good enough?’ No. You don’t. What you said to

me all those years ago made me realize who I really was.

And you know something? I am not pure of heart.”




As he set the Sins free and gained his champion powers, Sivana

continued his verbal barrage on the wizard by stating, “You

seek a pure soul old man, but no one is worthy.” Because of

the horrendous aftermath of Black Adam, the wizard was no

longer trusting and refused to share his power with anyone

that wasn’t worthy and pure of heart. This caused the wizard

to be alone and isolated for generations, and even after

Sivana, they were still looking for a pure hearted champion,

but to no avail. Finding people who are worthy and pure of

heart is a challenge, not just for a wizard, but for anyone,

including God.

"As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even

one; there is no one who understands; there is no one

who seeks God. All have turned away, they have

together become worthless; there is no one who does

good, not even one.” - Romans 3:10-12.

“Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no

one who does what is right and never sins.” -

Ecclesiastes 7:20.

“The Lord looks down from heaven on all mankind to

see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.

All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is

no one who does good, not even one.” - Psalm 14:2-3.

Scripture tells us that literally none of us are righteous. The

wizard used righteousness and purity as his measure of

whether or not people could carry his power, but by biblical



standards, no one could. When Billy finally made it before the

wizard, he, unlike so many others, was quick to admit he

wasn’t it. He knew full and well that he wasn’t pure hearted or

worthy, but the wizard was out of options.

That’s similar to how we relate to God. We aren’t pure hearted

or worthy, but He still gives us His gifts (life, peace, spirt, joy,

strength, etc). He gives them to us not out of desperation or

out of a lack of options, but because He is good and wants us

to have life.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

and all are justified freely by his grace through the

redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” - Romans 3:23-

24.

The wizard passed on his power because he had no other

options. God’s gifts are given because of grace. Like Billy, none

of these gifts have anything to do with our worthiness. I would

encourage you to make the most of the gifts you are given.

Just like Billy had a responsibility to live up to being the

champion of the Rock of Eternity, we have the responsibility to

live up to the grace given to us.

“Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to

lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been

called by God.” - Ephesians 4:1.

“so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and

please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good



work, growing in the knowledge of God” - Colossians

1:10.

#2: The Sins

As you saw, the 7 deadly sins of mankind reside in the rock of

eternity and are guarded by the champion. First of all, I'd like

to give DC credit for having the audacity to refer to them as

sins. Sin has a very biblical connotation to it that I can

understand a major film studio avoiding. In the 2010 animated

featurette, “Superman/Shazam: The Return of Black Adam,”

they referred to them as the 7 deadly “enemies of man” for

exactly that reason. In the 2019 Shazam box office outing, they

not only addressed them as sins, but called them by name and

even gave them attention and discussion.

As young Sivana approached the eye, the wizard warned him

about the dangers of the sins and that they weren’t what he

needed. As previously mentioned, he fell to that temptation

not only as a child, but he pursued their power for his entire

adult life. That really hits home to me, because I know

personally there are some sins in my own life and sins in the

lives of other that seem to have similar sway. Some days, it’s

like we have been stuck in pursuit of the specific sin all our

lives. Sivana devoted all of his time, research, finances, and

resources to once again being within reach of the sins and all

that they would bring him. In a discussion about Moses in

Hebrews 11:25, it describes that sin is pleasurable for a season,

or a fleeting time. That means sin is pleasurable, but that

pleasure only lasts for a moment.




As Sivana finally possessed the sins and enacted his vengeance

on his family, they immediately took control and started

barking orders. They told him that he had to go out and take

care of the threat of the champion. Anything that could get in

the way of their power was not allowed. I’ve seen firsthand

what it’s like for sin to have that much control in life. Sin will

cause division, take you places you wouldn’t normally go,

distract you, and make you its slave. In Sivana’s case, it had

him chasing down a 14-year-old boy all over Philidelphia. In

our case, it usually will take us to darker places.

While Sivana literally had 7 crusty gargoyle-looking

manifestations of sin riding his free will into the manipulative

dirt, you may not feel like you are under that much control.

ButLook at what Jesus said.

“Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is

a slave to sin.” - John 8:34.

Those aren’t fun words to hear. If you look deeper into the

translation, it reads more accurately those who “practice” sin,

but realistically there’s not a lot of difference because I think

we all do both basically.

When Sivana returns Shazam to the Rock of Eternity, Shazam

tried to convince Sivana to let go of the sins. He could see what

the wizard saw.

“Look, no offense mister, but I don’t think these things

have your best interest at heart. They’re using you, you

have to see that, that they are using you.”



He was right. As the battle raged on from the Rock to the

carnival, Billy’s point was made clear. Envy finally abandoned

Sivana, and he was left helpless dangling on the brink of death.

When we let sin control us even a little, we can end up in the

same predicament. Sin doesn’t just quietly reside in us; it

escalates.

“But each person is tempted when they are dragged

away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after

desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when

it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” - James 1:14-15.

Sin fully grown gives birth to death. If Shazam hadn’t rescued

Sivana and pried the eye from him, Sivana would have

ultimately met his demise at the hands of the sins after they

had used him to accomplish their goals. Don’t think for a

minute there’s any difference in our situation. When we are in

the position of sin wreaking havoc in our lives, we most likely

won’t have a superhero to forcefully remove it from us. We are

going to have to make that call ourselves. That is what Paul

called the Roman church to do.

“Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so

that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of

yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but

rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been

brought from death to life; and offer every part of

yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For

sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not

under the law, but under grace.” - Romans 6:12-14.




Fight back when the sins of your world are trying to take hold

of you, and for the love of God, don’t stick a demon ball in

your head.

#3: Home

From the beginning of the movie through the end, we saw the

overall arc of Billy looking for his home. He was so bent on

finding his home in his mother, and he couldn’t accept

anywhere else as being his home. He had run from dozens of

foster homes over his years all because he felt none of those

places were his actual home.

I know that feeling. It’s hard to pause and be content where

you are because you think there is somewhere else you are

supposed to be. It’s also hard to be loved by the people around

you because you think that somewhere else, there are people

who are going to love you better or desire to have you in their

life more. It’s not that it’s selfish, just rather we have this

desire to be in a place where we belong.

Victor Vasquez and his family truly showed what it looked like

to have a home that was welcoming and loving. Billy couldn’t

see it at first, but it was always there. Some of us are out here

chasing our own proverbial “Billy’s Mom.” When Billy finally

found his mom in the movie, she broke his heart and rejected

him. I had to have my oldest daughter switch seats and come

sit beside me because she was ugly crying on the end of the

row by herself. She couldn’t understand why a parent would

simply walk away from their child.




We are looking for these people or situations that will make us

feel at “Home.” In reality, they are simply ghosts we are

chasing that are just destined to reject us. Some of you are

pouring into relationships that will never be home. Some of

you are pouring into organizations, careers, or projects that

will still kick you out at the end of the day.

Victor Vasquez reminded Rosa what she had once told him,

“It’s not a home till you call it a home. It’s something you have

to choose.” Billy was given the opportunity to make the

Vasquez house a home, but it had to be his choice. As long as

he was determined to find his home elsewhere, he would

never be satisfied. To me, that looks a lot like how we are with

church. I’m not talking about buildings, but the people. Many

of us involve ourselves with churches, but we are determined

to find something else. We chase our Billy’s Moms all over the

world through so many activities and avenues because we

aren’t willing to call the people we church with a home.

Maybe it’s because you’ve had struggles with your faith.

Maybe it’s because someone in that family hurt you. Maybe

it’s because you don’t like leadership or preferences of the

organization. Whatever it is, you run. You bounce from house

to house, group to group, or church to church because you

aren’t willing to call it home yet. Just like Victor and Rosa were

willing to make this place a home for Billy, Freddy, Darla,

Pedro, Eugene, and Mary, there is a home for you in the

church. You have to be willing to choose it and not sneak out

and run at the first sign of a ghost from your past or something




that appears more appealing. We see what it looks like in the

early church when God’s people actually decided to call the

rebellious group of resurrection believers a home.

“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.

When God’s people decided to call each other home, they

were together, unified, and their needs were met. They truly

became a home and family. One reason it may be hard for

people today to feel “home” with church is because church

now doesn’t look like the scripture you just read. I am fully

aware of that. I’m currently in the process of trying to

restructure things in my own church with that exact thought. I

am reading Francis Chan’s book Letters to the Church, and it’s

helping me see a lot of things we need to fix to make the

church what God called it to be.

The Vasquez home didn’t just become a thriving foster home

on its own. It took time. It took effort. It took fixing mistakes,




learning, and listening. I hope you find a church home that can

be that for you. No matter what group of people you lump

yourself with, there will always be flaws and mistakes, but I

pray you can find a family to call home.

Even more so, I hope you can come to the place where you

find a home in God. In the climax of the movie, Billy shares his

powers with his foster family and they become part of

something bigger. They are not only family in where they live,

but now in the immense power they share. What is given to

them by this super natural force changes how they live and

exist for the rest of their lives. Still, they had to choose to take

that on They had to place their hands on the staff and yell

“Billy!” ... which in turn did nothing but make me laugh. Once

they actually yelled out the right name and received their new

position in the Shazamily, they were changed from the inside

out. Their home was in their identity and power they shared

together. God wants to do that in you. He wants your home to

be in Him, and even crazier sounding, He wants to make a

home with you.

“Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my

teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to

them and make our home with them.” - John 14:23.

God wants to be home with you. He wants to be so close to

you that you never have to be isolated or alone. He wants you

to know that He is there. He wants to be that present Father in

your life. Based on what I can remember, my father only lived

in my home for 4 years of my life. It was not a great




experience. On the flipside, outside of camps and comicons,

my kids have never known me to be away. They don’t know

what it’s like to not know their father’s presence.

God wants that for you. He wants you to be at home not only

with His people, but with Him. As Victor said though, it’s not a

home until you call it a home. It’s something you choose. Just

as Billy chose to make the Vasquez and Shazamiliy his home, I

hope and pray you can choose to make God and His people

your home as well.

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