Origin Story

Editor's Note: Sorry we were away last week, school got a whole lot crazy really quickly! We return you now to our regularly scheduled series on stories, and once again remind you that if you have a story around faith that you would like to share, please send it along to freyer@westminster-church.org

It is true that Batman V. Superman, a movie which I had been waiting to see for years, was a colossal disappointment. I had plans to see it 4 or 5 times in the theater, and I never made it past that first disappointing showing. The story was contrived, I never at any point felt like the conflict was realistic, and it reminded me of those movies who overload on the special effects at the expense of any actual story. It was a bummer.

Captain America: Civil War on the other hand was everything that Batman V. Superman was not. The insanely principled Captain America stands in opposition to the emotionally driven Tony Stark, and the two of them eventually duke it out. This movie was essentially an Avengers 2.5, with the rest of the Avengers team choosing sides and going to, well, Civil War.

I love superhero stories. They’ve always been a way for me to get lost in another world, much like Sarah explains is happening when she’s reading Jane Austin or something like that. In both the examples above, what I thought was interesting was the story that wasn’t told, but still impacted both films, that being the character’s origin stories. In Marvel’s case, most of their heroes had their origin stories explored years ago in their standalone films, but even a few of the characters they introduce go without origin stories being played out on screen. The assumption was I suppose that we all know Spider-man’s origin story, we don’t really need to go through that again. But even there, that character’s origin story was still shining through. The way they became who they are influences who they are at any given moment.

I’ve always been a little wary of people who ask the question “When did you meet Jesus?” It’s like he was hanging out at the Trader Joe’s or something signing autographs, and I somehow managed to be in the right place at the right time. But at the same time I recognize that as a Christian, there is a bit of an origin story to me. There is the stark reality that Jesus and I sorted a lot out in youth group, which may or may not have something to do with my chosen career path. I can’t deny that a certain group of friends were around me at that season of life, and those are the same types of people I gravitate towards in my faith journey. My mentors from that time are still mentors that I reach out to when I run into trouble today. My origin story as a Christian impacts my present in profound and complex ways.

So maybe instead of asking when you met Jesus, I ought to pose the question this way: What’s your origin story? When did this faith start to get serious for you? And how is that impacting who you are even in this present moment?

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