The other night I caught the start of the Marvel film Guardians of the Galaxy, my wife and older daughter were watching it. I’m less of a superhero fan but I do love the way this irreverent intergalactic tale begins. First up you hear the strains of that unique ‘70s 10cc classic I’m Not in Love, then Chris Pratt boots and shuffles his way through other-worldly puddles and predators in a scene reminiscent of something out of Indiana Jones, all to the Redbone song, Come and Get Your Love. It’s a great feelgood scene. Even for an old superhero grinch like me. Han Solo was a similarly irreverent, swashbuckling space rebel, and for me the best thing about Star Wars. The word irreverent is overused these days, I guess it’s come to mean something that bites back against the norm. Marvel heroes aren’t perhaps supposed to behave this way. And we may not expect those in the Good Book to either, yet the Bible’s full of irreverent heroes. Prophets like Micah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel were forever breaking the rules. Booting and shuffling their way through the expected religious and social norms of their day. And for no small reason. They had glimpsed something of life’s reality and knew that behaving ‘properly’ was not enough. They had to rattle cages and un-float some boats to make people sit up and take notice. Jeremiah buried his pants. Seriously. Stuck ’em in the ground so they’d come up stinking of donkey dung, no doubt he then put them on, over his tights like Superman, to provoke the question – ‘Why are you looking an idiot?’ ‘Because,’ rebel Jerry might reply, ‘your focus, your priorities are pants! They’re riddled with corruption and without God’s help they will fill apart.’ On another occasion he likened the people to camels on heat, forever chasing after the next thrill. In an age when I find myself flitting from one online distraction to another, it’s still a timely message. For me if no one else. Thank God for that supremely divine rebel, Jesus, who upset so many of the norms, not for the sake of it, but because he knew we needed an open door to another life and a daily fresh start.
I regularly post creative pieces which help folks connect with the Bible in a contemporary and down-to-earth way. Please feel free to make use of them if they inspire you. I also post daily short thoughts on Twitter and have produced a variety of books, most of which draw on the Bible.