Aquaman and the Body of Christ
By Ben Avery - April 20, 2015
Posted in Children's Ministry
I like Aquaman.
I know, I know. First, I’m a grown man who likes superheroes and maybe that’s one reason I relate to kids, but maybe there’s actually some interesting truths that can be gleaned from those kinds of stories and I would love to talk with you sometime about that. But that’s not what this is about, so we can do that later.
Second, it’s not a popular opinion in my circles of friends who enjoy the geeky superhero stuff I like. Batman is a billionaire genius who is awesome at everything he does. Superman is incredibly strong and can fly and all that stuff.
Aquaman? He swims really, really fast. He can breathe underwater. And he can talk to fish. All of those those things are pretty cool, but let’s face it. He doesn’t have an awesome car and he can’t freeze a lake with his breath, carry it to a forest fire, and then melt it with his eyes.
But there are a number of reasons I like Aquaman. Let’s move beyond how much I like swimming and how I awesome I think talking to fish would be. (“Why, hello, Goldie, what’s the word?” “I’m hungry! I’m going left! Now I’m going right!” Hmmm. Maybe talking to fish wouldn’t be so awesome. But talking to whales would be!)
You see, I like him because sometimes I actually feel like him.
And I’m willing to bet you do, too.
Sometimes…oftentimes…too often…I look around and I see myself surrounded by Batmans and Supermans. I see people with resources I don’t have. I see people with opportunities that I don’t have. I see people with talents I don’t have. Worse, I see people with talents I DO have, but they do it better.
Do you ever feel that way? If you don’t, I wish I was more like you. (See, I just did it!)
It’s hard not to feel that way. It’s hard to be satisfied as the Aquaman of the group.
But this leads us into one of the most comical passages in the Bible.
Paul’s writing it. He’s not often a comedian, but he had wit and he had smarts and he used them. I wish I could write like him. (Did it again. Rats.)
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ…Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
I Corinthians 12:12 & 14
And then, after this set up, dripping with wisdom, Paul enters into an absurd dialogue that goes like this:
SCENE: A human body
FOOT: I’m not a hand! My digits are short and stubby and can’t pick things up! I don’t belong in this body!
EAR: I’m not an eye! All I have is a hole that picks up sounds, but light? Nope! I don’t belong to the body!
EYE: Hey, hands! I don’t need you!
HEAD: Feet? What are you even doing down there? I think you stink and I certainly don’t need you!
MOUTH: Wait a minute, how are all of you guys talking?
This is what we explored yesterday in CHARGE, our third hour Kindergarten-3rd Grade service. Every part of the body is an important part of the body. (Even the appendix, which you can live without, but apparently actually DOES have a purpose. I’ll leave that up to you to discover — it’s a little gross for a church blog post.) The hands need the eyes. The ears and nose and eyes all work together to help us know our environment. And we could LIVE without any of those, but we can’t live without a stomach or kidneys. All of these things work together.
And that’s the picture of the Church that Paul is painting with his words.
Every part of the body is important.
And that means you.
Think about that when you’re feeling like an Aquaman surrounded by Batmans and Supermans. I mean, 2/3 of the earth is covered in water. So when there’s a bad guy in the ocean, who does the team turn to? You see, Aquaman is a vital member of the team. He’s not as flashy or popular as the other guys, but he knows how to navigate the lakes and seas and oceans. Yes, under the surface he can’t be seen by the public when he does his acts of heroism like Batman and Superman. But when there is a problem down there, he’s their man.
What’s your ocean? What’s your fit? Those aren’t easy questions sometimes. But remember: just as God arranged the parts of our human bodies and designed them to do what they do, if you are a follower of Christ, you belong to this worldwide body that is his Church. Five years old, or one hundred and five, you are a part of this phenomenon that began two thousand years ago.
Whether you’re an appendix or a little toe . . . or an Aquaman . . . that’s pretty awesome.