Since I first watched Spiderman (the one with Tobey Maguire), it has ranked at the top of my list of movies. In particular, I fell head over heels when Peter Parker's Uncle spoke the line, "With great power comes great responsibility."
If there was ever a line which connected directly with part of my understanding of the Christian faith, this was it. I was inspired, and I have written a series of sermons using that line to ram home the responsibility of Christians to not only speak about their faith but to act on it as well.
When I came to Cat Spring, I was introduced to the congregation's tradition on Halloween to have a hayride taking kids from house to house to trick-or-treat. Of course, I dressed up:
For three years, this was my costume--until it started becoming a bit threadbare. So, I changed costumes donning a rather frightening one for the two years we put together a haunted house and then dressing up as Thor last year:
This year, I had intended to dress up as Captain America. I really liked the movie and loved "The Avengers." But then I went to see that other superhero blockbuster of this summer: "The Dark Knight Rises."
After viewing, I called my wife, "I think Spiderman might just have been replaced as my favorite superhero movie. And I also think this was better than The Avengers."
I was frankly blown away by several aspects of "The Dark Knight Rises." There is the classic battle between good and evil, of course. There is the political struggle of humanity showing the evils of decadence with disregard for the poor, and the mayhem and chaos of complete revolution (think the French Revolution). There is a resurrection motif. And, most importantly in my estimation, there is the push to be truthful.
My favorite scene (and I will probably not get all the quotes correct since the DVD isn't out yet and I'm working on a couple months of trying to recall it) is when Bruce Wayne is confronted by Alfred before Wayne/Batman tries to tackle Bane (the villain) for the first time.
Alfred tries to prevent Wayne from becoming the Dark Knight and instead allowing the police and other authorities to handle the problem. The conversation is quite fantastic and in the midst of it, Alfred says, "Perhaps it is time we stop trying to cover up the truth and allow it to have its say."
Oh how wonderful a statement! Oh what a timely statement in the midst of the milieu we live in this day! I couldn't believe I was actually hearing such a thing coming out of Hollywood which has gone to great pains to de-emphasize truth and make it relative. Finally, a movie suggesting that the truth should triumph!
But at a cost.
Alfred lays out what he expects his telling of the truth to cost him. I expect you to hate me, Alfred essentially says. I expect our relationship to be broken. I expect this to be the end of my caring for the Wayne family. "But if it saves your life, I consider it worth it."
The truth can and does hurt, but eventually, it did and does lead to reconciliation. "The Dark Knight Rises" powerfully portrays this, and once again, I fell head over heels for a movie.
And so, this Halloween:
The Dark Knight Rises once again!