Wednesday, January 18, 2012

It's Hammer Time - or Is It? Who is Worthy?

I re-watched Thor with a bud last night, and since he was not a comic geek like moi, had to explain that what is so special about Thor's power is that his hammer CANNOT be used at all by anyone who is not worthy.

"Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy shall possess the power of Thor!"
"Worthy" is such an archaic term in the vast politically correct non-judgmental moral milieu of today that it was refreshing to me just to HEAR the word - as well as the words "coward" and "sworn" and "allegiance" - spoke with meaning and respect, without mockery.

Now some of us have only heard the word rarely, and maybe their point of reference is like mine: its use in "Wayne's World" the movie, when Wayne and Garth meet classic iconic rock star Alice Cooper and are invited to hang out with him - at this honor, they fall to the ground, saying "We're not worthy! We're not worthy!!" [ YouTube clip here ]

I gotta admit, I love that clip! Especially when Alice offers his "ring hand" to kiss. :D

But humor aside, that is what worthiness ends up implying - only a few really are 'worthy.'

It is a judgment call.

Now let us be clear here - not a 'judgmental call' - excluding good and proper people due to some false or separatist criteria held by a select few. It is rather a call to judge, rightly, what is worthy of respect and honor.

Back to Thor - one of the heart-breaking moments in the film is when Thor realizes he has LOST his prized gift from Odin All-Father: he can no longer wield mjolnir, his mystic Uru hammer.

The son has discovered he is not worthy. Even the SHIELD agents stop and watch the heartbreak.

He had heard Odin tell him he was unworthy, due to pride and was cast to Earth - but now, reaching for his favored weapon, he discovers the loss of power as well as position.

He is not just not a god anymore; he is not even a son - and therefore, he will never be esteemed again. He has lost his identity before his heavenly Father.

He is mortal and will die as a mortal.

Thankfully, later he does just that - willingly sacrificing his life to save those who have loved him.

In so doing, he proves he he has been changed. He has cast off the selfish sin of pride and ego.

He then is worthy to wield mjolnir - again.

Now the Christ-allusions are obvious, but are not precisely parallel. It is enough for me to see the god-man come to Earth and die for those He loved. But this is a story of personal redemption as well - this god-like man was arrogant and needed to die to his own ego and self before receiving the honor and position of king.

That is soooo like Christ-followers and what we must go through before God can use us. We must die to self. We must prove ourselves worthy of the calling we have received by GRACE - yeah, folks - we were not worthy, and we are made worthy by God. The crowd that wants to be saved without all that jazz about being changed or becoming holy is living in dreamland. God has to humble us to use us.

You see it in the men of the Bible - both Old and New Testament. They are taken out of the world, placed in crucibles and trials by fire before they are given power and authority to do great wonders and miracles. From Joseph to Moses to Elijah to Peter and Paul and of course, Jesus our Lord.

But if you are willing to be humbled - to see your own pride and ego first, to confess it and humble yourself before God, you may indeed find yourself holding a hammer - "to build or to destroy - a fit weapon for a king" as Odin says.

And one day, upon giving your life in service, you too will see the King of Kings, smiling, scarred, glowing with joy and power before you, wanting only to have you in His presence forever and ever and you will sing with the multitudes:

"Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and praise!"

It is clear from scripture that what makes us unworthy is pride - and if we want to get our position restored and have the power to change the world for the better, we will need to go to our Father and admit we are unworthy.

He will restore us and grant us authority, even as He did for His disciples - if we are willing.

May you have the courage to do so today.

And yeah, me too.

Amen.

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