This past weekend, Michael and I saw the new Power Rangers movie. Both of us had seen the original show, oh so many years ago. Nostalgia brought us out to the movie theater in hopes of hearing some of the cheesy lines from our childhood, which did not disappoint. But as an adult, I walked away from the theater realizing some correlations between this movie and the way the church operates.
Fair warning, this post will contain spoilers.
Okay, so the story is basically a rag tag group of teenagers who don’t know each other but come together to defeat a big bad set on destroying the world. They all happen to be in the same place at the same time to find these stones that would connect them to a higher calling. But coming together and learning how to morph proved to be problematic, and without morphing into the armor they need, they will be unable to vanquish the evil.
Over the course of the movie, they all realize that the big bad, Rita Repulsa, is very real and very dangerous. They come together under this common cause, but it doesn’t help them to morph. They even spend time with each other, confessing their dark secrets, but still no morphing.
One of the girls, Kimberly, who hesitates to share her secret, is convinced that they can’t morph because she is an awful person. She confesses to the leader of the group, Jason, that she shared a compromising picture of a friend, losing all of her friendships and reputation in the process. Jason tells her that just because she did an awful thing, it doesn’t make her an awful person, giving her hope of redemption.
(anyone catching on to the correlations yet?)
And finally, it isn’t until they realize that it’s not just in confession, not just in having a common cause, but it’s in the reality that they care enough about each other to lay down their life for one another that they finally are able to morph.
In the church today, we have a common cause. We are here to love God, love others (Mark 12: 29-31), and show people the way of Jesus through discipleship (Matthew 28:18-20). We are called to confess our sins to one another (James 5:16).
But we are also called to love each other. Jesus says in John 13, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” And just two chapters later, he defines love like this: Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
When I look at the characters in this nostalgia-ridden story, I see broken human beings who don’t have it all figured out. But when they come together, they are stronger. And they sense that strength. They seek one another out. When one is being tempted to betray the others, she chooses to find them and tell them what has happened. And by the end of the movie, they seek each other out, choose to be around each other, even outside of the fight.
I thought this was a neat metaphor for the church, and it really convicted me on a deeper level. Do I seek out my church family? Are they the first ones I go to when I’m feeling lost or alone? Or do I treat them like I treat everyone else, with careful walls in place? The church is not something to go to, it’s something to belong to. It’s an extended family of people who are willing to die for you, willing to fight for you, willing to listen to you. And if it’s not, then I need to be the first to break down my walls and listen to them, and stand up for them, and die to my own selfishness for my brothers and sisters.
So, guys, it’s morphin’ time. Who’s with me?