The illogical celebration of sacrifice.

John 15:13 Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

I was engaging in some serious theological reflection this morning on “X Men: Days of Future Past”. And it suddenly struck me that the film makes no sense!

This is not simply because  I can’t work out why Charles Xavier is alive when I remember him disintegrating in X Men 3! But rather because, once again, it is an action hero film that celebrates the strong making sacrifices for the weak.

For those who don’t know the gospel according to X Men. Evolution has produced mutants with some seriously cool powers. Some line up with Magneto who’s philosophy is basically: we’re better and the future, so lets get on and have lots of little mutants and take over the world. Normal people have it in for us anyway because we’re weird. Some line up with Charles Xavier whose philosophy is: “We’re just misunderstood. Let’s learn how to use our powers to help all the weak misguided human beings.”

Now my problem is that I think the pervading world view of our culture is with Magneto. Certainly Richard Dawkins is. Evolution by natural selection is all about the strong surviving at the expense of the weak. That’s the way we make progress. In business and in biology!

But we just can’t help ourselves in art, literature and films celebrating sacrifice. The strong laying down their privileges, their pleasure, their very lives for weak people who can’t help themselves.

Surely a happy ending according to the survival of the fittest is all the Marvel Avengers going off to a nice tropical Island somewhere to make more little super heroes while the rest of the world gets fried by aliens. But no! They rescue us and Iron Man almost dies again!

The Bible says that we are created in the image of the God who is love. Jesus taught that there is no greater love than laying down your life for your friend. We give thanks for that sort of love every Remembrance Day.

But Jesus didn’t just teach us of that love. He demonstrated it. When he went to the cross to die for people who weren’t his friends, but were by nature his enemies. So that they could become his friends. That is the love of the God we are created to represent. And as hard as we might try to scour that image from our thinking, we just can’t stop ourselves celebrating sacrifice.