Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Acceptance (Fallen Son)


"Welcome.

I...

I... um...

It...

wasn't supposed

to be this way..."

--Tony Stark's entire eulogy for Captain America's funeral at Arlington National Cemetery


Today we find ourselves at the fifth and final stage of the K├╝bler-Ross model: Acceptance. In the comic book, Captain has a funeral fit for the leader of the United States. Reporters speak on the scene, "Get a glimpse of the casket drawn by a single white horse, riderless, a ceremony up until now held only for a president. But, then again, there are many who feel that he [Cap'] was even more important than any elected official." Here, heroes and civilians alike gather in order to find some sort of end, to seek resolve, to discover acceptance.


Following Stark, Sam Wilson gives a speech. He states that no matter what different names Captain America had in his time as a hero (Captain America, Cap, Winghead, Nomad, and Cap-Wolf), "It didn't matter what we called him--because it all began and ended with Steve Rogers." He speaks of Roger's strengths and inspiration. He reminds us of those whom Cap' had saved from concentration camps in WWII, he reminds us at Cap's regret for knowing he would outlive many of the people he fought beside (due to the Super Soldier Serum), and he reminds us of the partner that Cap' was (to those who had served as people with and without superpowers both in the past and the present).

In the end of his address, Wilson shares how Cap will still live through the other heroes. "Steve Rogers, that skinny blond-haired kid who grew up on the streets of New York showed us that the ideals of the American dream--the great melting pot that can bring out the best in each of us and bind us all together--actually works! And he can keep teaching us that long after he's gone. By telling stories about him to our children, to our grandchildren, Steve Rogers, Captain America, will never die. This doesn't have to be a day of sadness. We can accept it as a gift of unity and hope. The kind of day Captain America lived for."

Isn't this our relationship with Christ? Even though he had to die he lives. "It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me" (Galatians 2:20). The Father continues to give us strength (Psalm 73:26) and the Holy Spirit continues to bear inspiration. Instead of solely being freed from physical confinement (like the concentration camps), we have been saved from the confinements of sin, death, and the Devil. Instead of fighting with Christ in an earthly battle, we are blessed with the armor of God to become united with him in the Spiritual War (against Satan).

Even though we could never accomplish the things that Jesus Christ has done, we are able to let his light shine through us (just as the heroes let Cap's influence radiate their lives). In the end, Jesus is even stronger than our other heroes. He is even more important than any elected official or earthly warrior. He rose! He already won the war for our souls; but, he is also free to continue in helping us fight our own battles and complete the war at the end of days. "For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet" (1 Corinthians 15:25).


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