I love the movie Marvel’s The Avengers! My favorite character is Thor. I remember reading the Marvel Thor comic books when I was in 6th-8th grades. Thought he was pretty cool!
In the movie, one of the best lines, however, is from Captain America. Thor has just made a crash appearance (literally) and yanked Loki off an airplane. Iron Man and Captain America are about to go after them, when Black Widow tells Cap “Don’t underestimate Thor – he is from Asgard, and they’re all like demi-gods.” (Paraphrased) Cap looks at her and says, ‘Ma’am, there’s only one God, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t dress like that!)
Funny line, but it speaks volumes of truth! Thor dresses like what he is – a Norse myth from the Dark Ages. He speaks Old English, sounding more like Beowulf or Shakespeare than David Banner or Tony Stark. He isn’t trying to blend in, or become like the humans he is there to help. He is out of step with the time and place in which he finds himself. Others find it hard to relate to him because of this, his alien-ness. His unfamiliarity.
How different is God Almighty, our Abba, Father God! God wants to relate to his people. He wants to establish a one-to-one relationship with each of us. How can we know this? Let’s look at two examples.
Many of us are familiar with the story from Genesis 15, when God comes to Abram and establishes a covenant, an eternal promise, with him. “Number the stars, if you are able to number them…so shall your offspring be.” Then God met Abram where he was – using a custom, a ritual that would have been familiar to Abram, that of a suzerain covenant. (For a description of this, see Our Daily Bread. God did not use ideas or words that were foreign to Abram; He communicated with him in a way that was easy for Abram to understand. He understood that God was making Himself responsible for the keeping of this covenant, that He was coming to Abram and that He would do all that was necessary.
Another time (amongst many) that God met man where he lives is when Jesus came. John 1 tells us how: “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us…” The Word, logos. λόγος,was the Stoic Greeks’ idea of the “active reason pervading and animating the universe.” In various forms, this idea was familiar to most of the Hellenistic world in John’s time. John took that familiar idea and demonstrated that Jesus came as the fulfilled embodiment of Logos. HE came to us. HE dwelt among us. HE got down in the dirt and met us where we are, met us as we are, and called us to come home. He emptied Himself to become one of us (Philippians 2:7), to be able to relate to the temptations and sorrows we experience (Hebrews 4:15, Isaiah 53:3).
And why? Because He “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” So, whom would you rather depend on? Someone who cannot know and understand where you are coming from, or someone who is willing to get right down there and pull you out of the mire, and knows, really knows, everything you are going through? I know what my choice is. Do you?