Skip to main content

The Incredibles

I went to see the Incredibles last night (well thursday night, whenever that was). Loved it, was especially enthused by the sixties kitsch. Came home, had a bath, went to bed and then (in a very cartoon styley) it hit me. God was speaking through this film: first to me, but also in a wider sense to the community of the church.

If you don't want a little glimpse of what the film is about, or you have heard me on the whole Dorothy leadership thing and think its bunk then STOP READING NOW!

To the remnant: the story in the film is essentially about Mr Incredible, a superhero who in his own words "works alone". We see him early in the film fixing things all over the place. When a young boy- his greatest fan- tries to help him he is turned away with the words "you are not a superhero, you have no powers and I work alone" (I paraphrase).

Flick on ten years. Mr Incredible was sued for saving someone who didn't want to be saved, it sparked a tidal wave and suddenly superheroes were outlawed. We see Mr Incredible trying to live a normal life with his family. They too have special powers which mean its hard to fit in..

The story rolls on and Mr Incredible is suddenly trapped by none other than the boy he rejected all those years before. His greatest fan is now trying to destroy him, whilst at the same time becoming a new kind of superhero. Mr Incredible cannot fight him alone, and the story ends with all his family around him using their powers to fight off this imposter.

The challenge for me: how many times have I passed up the opportunity to have others alongside because "I work alone"? How many times have they been hurt? So far none have tried to destroy me but it really is there but for the grace of God go I. I'm sorry where I have done that.

The broader challenge: to follow McClaren's line; how many of us in Christian leadership have been Mr Incredible, running around and fixing things but never allowing anyone else to get on board, fitting loads in and ignoring the people who rightly or wrongly look to us as heroes. One might argue that a whole generation of church leadership has been based on this premise of the lone ranger leader.

Perhaps a disaffected and anti- church generation is our own nemesis. Instead of a new breed of superhero we have lifestyle gurus, the occult and myriad other imposters.

And the challenge. Well to embrace the family that we have around us and let them use their gifts as we fight together. There is a beautiful scene at the end of the film where the Incredible's youngest family member, is taken captive by the enemy. It has always been assumed he has no powers but faced with mortal danger the baby comes into his own. He shape shifts (looking alarmingly like a demon but lets not think about that too much). evryone in teh family plays a part in the final battle scene. Isn''t that how church should be instead of "I work alone"?

Comments

Linda-Joy said…
Jude
Can I edit this slightly and use it on the 24-7 website?
Linda

Popular posts from this blog

NO MORE MAGIC BULLET- or why I have stopped watching the West Wing

I love the West Wing. It still rates as one of the most well informed and influential series of the genre. Its speeches have been stolen by people who have osmosed its hope for a better way of doing politics. When we watch it today it holds a very particular kind of resonance because it demonstrates a civility that has been drowned in a sea of hate. It has positive images of a wrestled out faith, is rich with camaraderie and pith and is just good telly.
But its bad for me. 
It pains me to admit this, but the West Wing makes me think I can change the world in a way that is simply not helpful. 
It holds out the present hope that the world can turn on a single conversation. With the brave statement or right turn of phrase one might change the debate, and in turn might change the world entire. The moment in the Oval where they realise that if they take no credit they can save social security. The moment where Donna remembers to pay welfare payments. The realisation that all the NATO people a…

Oxpresidentgate and a Crisis of Generosity

Its been an interesting start to the year for the third sector. As we all get to grips with GDPR (more later), we have been subject to increased media attention as first we reeled from President’s Club revelations to the far deeper impact of this week’s revelations about Oxfam (and others).
There is much that can be written. Undoubtedly there are some in media and politics who will seek to exploit the 1/3 of us who don’t think aid should be sent overseas to change policy off the back of bad behaviour by some people. We could face a drop in giving to international development, as supporting Oxfam is no longer seen as acceptable (like buying a plastic bag). I suspect this will recover at some point, possibly in different form.
However, there is a deeper moral crisis for third sector organisations and my fear is that Christian charities are not immune.
To explore this let me go back a month. The President’s Club- where charities were set to receive significant amounts of money from an…

A very dull post about what I do with my time...

Each year I take a calendar month and record what I do in it. I break each day into twenty minute chunks and note down what happens in each twenty minute block. I don’t do the same for designated Sabbath time (nor do I note each bit of time outside of the beginning and end of a working day, no-one needs to know how long I clean my teeth for).
I categorise each thing that I do (an imperfect science) with a view to getting a handle on what I do with my time. 
This year I did the audit in November (as clergy I always avoid doing this in Lent, Advent or August). 
So- what did I discover?
I work around 55 hours a week. (thats up one hour from last year) That work is spread over five and a half days. The only sabbath day that was interrupted by work was about processing a painful meeting.  Of 26 working days, I worked 12 evenings.
In terms of what I do:
In November 17% of my time was taken up with prayer, reading and learning. Thats a slightly false read as I had a 48 hour away time in there. Prayer…