Digging in Deeper: Proverbs 14:12

“There is a way that seems right to a person, but its end is the way to death.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

What would you say if Captain America was British and female, Black Panther was an outer space Robinhood who reasoned Thanos out of destroying half the life in the universe, and the Avengers all got turned into super-powered zombies? I’d say you were reading a version of the comics different than the one most people have heard of. That would be correct. Marvel’s latest offering on Disney+ delves into a corner of the comics realm that is decidedly outside the norm and purposely so. Using a comic book line that first appeared in 1977, the latest Marvel series takes viewers on a beautifully animated journey into the question of “What if?” Now that the multiverse has been unleashed following the Loki series, each episode of What If? explores the universe that might have been created if a single event or decision by one of Marvel’s main characters had gone differently. This morning, I’d like to explore one of these with you.

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Morning Musing: Psalm 34:18

“The Lord is near the brokenhearted; he saves those crushed in spirit.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

I honestly wanted to wait for the end of the season to write this post. I may write another one when it’s finally through. But I just couldn’t wait any longer to get some of my thoughts down on digital paper. A few months ago I wrote a reflection and review of the Apple TV series, Ted Lasso. That original post is here. As I rather effusively gushed then, I absolutely loved the first season. Now, no, that doesn’t mean I loved every single part of it (the language is pretty excessively bad and, if anything, is worse this season), but the whole idea and theme rang so fundamentally true with the Christian worldview, I found myself quickly forgiving the few parts that didn’t. Well, Ted Lasso is back. And in between then and now it was nominated for a record 20 Emmy’s, most of which I fully suspect will be rightfully awarded to it in a couple of weeks. The show’s sophomore season has not been without some criticism, but at least as far as I am concerned, it has been even better than the first. As we have now crossed the midpoint of the season (and, no, I haven’t watched today’s episode yet), let’s talk about why it’s so good.

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Digging in Deeper: Lamentations 3:17-18

“My soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is; so I say, ‘My endurance has perished; so has my hope from the Lord.'” (ESV – Read the chapter)

Eighteen months. Eighteen months of nothing. There were rumors and reports, sure, but nothing concrete to embrace. Not a single thing. Then it suddenly arrived: Hope and the promise of a brighter future. We could all breathe a big sigh of relief because Marvel Studios had indeed not succumbed to the COVID economy. After waiting since July 2, 2019 when Spider-Man: Far From Home hit theaters, on Friday, January 15, 2021, the much anticipated new entry, Wandavision finally premiered on Disney+. Whether because it really is that good, or because we’d all grown so used to Marvel’s regular theatrical releases that the absence primed our hearts to be fond of whatever they released next, it has been a major hit. After months of nothing but rumors and scoops, the Marvel fandom finally had something solid to digest and debate. And so it has. This morning let’s talk about Wandavision and what it just may mean for you and me.

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Digging in Deeper: Zechariah 12:10

“Then I will pour out a spirit of grace and prayer on the house of David and the residents of Jerusalem, and they will look at me whom they pierced. They will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child and weep bitterly for him as one weeps for a firstborn.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

I used to love reading the comics. I’d make sure I got ahold of a copy of the newspaper every single day so I could see the latest from all of my favorite artists. I actually own the complete boxed set collections of both Calvin and Hobbes and The Far Side–two of my prized possessions. I’ve got my eye out for a similar collection of Get Fuzzy when it finally goes out of regular print. Another of my favorites was always Peanuts. Everyone loves Charlie Brown and Snoopy and the gang. He made popular an already common phrase: Good grief. I say all of that to ask this: Is it really?

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Digging in Deeper: Job 42:1-6

“Then Job replied to the Lord: I know that you can do anything and no plan of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this who conceals my counsel with ignorance?’ Surely I spoke about things I did not understand, things too wondrous for me to know. You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak. When I question you, you will inform me.’ I had heard reports about you, but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore, I reject my words and am sorry for them; I am dust and ashes.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Sometimes when we are making breakfast in the morning we like to make scrambled eggs. And sometimes when we get the eggs out to crack, our 5-year-old happens to be in the kitchen. Do you know what he unfailingly requests in these moments? Can I crack the eggs? Now, don’t get me wrong: It’s cute that he wants to help. I definitely don’t want to discourage him from it. That’ll blow up in my face later. But by the time I’ve cleaned up gooey egg mess from the counter and the floor and spent five minutes chasing minute pieces of egg shell around the bowl before I scramble everything up to put them in the pan, there’s a small part of me thinking, “Thanks for nothing.” As I read the tail end of the book of Job here, I feel a bit like he’s got to be thinking the same thing about God.

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