You are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.– Ephesians 2:19-22
In the 2018 movie “Thor: Ragnarok,” the citizens of Thor’s land, Asgard, are decimated by powerful enemies during the unfolding of Ragnarok, the end of the world according to Norse mythology. Only a tiny fraction remain by the end of the film. But there is hope in a truth that is threaded throughout the movie, which is first shared by Thor’s father: Asgard isn’t a place, it’s a people.
That is a parallel for the truth here in real life, especially in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. With believers scattered and ordered to stay in their homes while the world is ravaged by an invisible enemy that has infected over a million people at the time of this writing, we are reminded that the church–the body of Christ–is people, not a building.
It’s a truth we’ve known and heard for as long as we’ve been believers, but this is the time to truly live it. As humans, we’re built to be social and not do life alone, but the helplessness we confront in the face an enemy we cannot defeat on our own points us back to God.
In a later Marvel movie, we see that small group of surviving Asgardians get further massacred by an even more powerful enemy…but in the end of the story arc, we see the remaining survivors take root in a new land. After a hard season of surviving, they were poised to plant the seeds for thriving.
No matter where we are, we must remember to look up in total dependence upon, and praise for, Him in this Easter 2020 season. When all seems hopeless, like when it surely must have felt when the apostles witnessed the crucifixion of their Savior, we must persevere in faith as witness to His overcoming power and grace as did the apostles three days later.
We are the church. Let us witness to the world how God can use even these times of tragedy to make Himself known!