“[The ascension] affirms the true and lasting value of being human. The risen Jesus was more human, not less, than he was before: his risen humanness is the affirmation of his previous humanness, only now without the frailty and the dying which before then he shared with the rest of us. His resurrection is thus God’s way of saying that there is such a thing as genuine humanness, that human life is not a Sartrean sick joke, promising everything, and giving nothing.
But, if this is so, the ascension is the affirmation that God has taken that fully human, deeply and richly human being Jesus, and has embraced him to himself within his own dimension, his own space, making him indeed Lord of the world. God always intended that his human creatures should inherit the world, the created order, to rule over it with wisdom and gentleness, to bring it order and to enhance its beauty. In the the ascended human Jesus that vision is in principle realized.” – N. T. Wright
The ascension is a genuine encouragement to our faith, and to our prayer, Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
“HIGHLY ENTERTAINING.” That’s about the best way to describe The Avengers. Go see it on the big screen, and you will be glad that you did. While I would not say it is the best comic book movie I have ever seen (The Dark Night still holds that spot in my mind, and Batman Begins might be second on my list), it was an impressive weaving together of superheroes, featuring their skills and personalities in effective amounts. Perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of the movie was the witty dialogue, coupled with humorous moments. Certainly we have Joss Whedon (director and screenplay writer) to thank for that. (Remember how much you enjoyed the banter and one-liners in Firefly? The Avengers has some of that feel to it). And, really, that is the sense that a movie like this should have. This is a movie about comic book characters, after all, so there should inherently be an element of fun to it, and Whedon accomplishes that. The special effects and fight scenes are over the top in the right way for a movie featuring superheroes, gods, and humans with ridiculous skills. Again, go see the movie and ENJOY it.
SPOILER ALERT: Having unhesitatingly recommended the movie, here are a few ways in which I think it is lacking. First, if you haven’t seen the previous Marvel movies associated with the characters, especially Captain America or Thor, you’re going to be a little bit lost in the early going. Second, I would have liked a better story, on the whole. Given the source material, Whedon and company did a good job, but the story of John Carter is more intriguing and entertaining. Third, I couldn’t help but think that if they had just knocked off the top of Stark tower that it would have closed the portal. Yeah, I know it’s a comic book movie, etc. and aliens spilling into our world from another dimension is far-fetched to begin with, and maybe my practical solution would not have worked for some other reason, but I got hung up on that for about a minute or so until Iron Man saved the day. And related to this, Thor was a little bit underwhelming in the final fight. Seemed to me that he should have been as effective as Hulk against the giant, flying monster things. Nevertheless, go see it and have a grand time. Scenes and lines will stick with you, and you will ll inevitably talk about them with friends and family that have also seen the movie, which adds another level of fun to it as well. Oh, and Mark Ruffalo was a spot-on choice for Bruce Banner.