In the movies, we often see heroes who outwardly seem to have it all – success, fame and fortune. But what is really going on beneath the surface? Are these people really happy and fulfilled by all their material things?
In Lego Batman, we see a hero who outwardly appears to have it all together and be at the top of his game. But Batman is about to discover the real fight—the one that happens when we take off our mask and look in the mirror. Sometimes, the greatest villain we face is the one looking back at us from the mirror. We live in isolation and loneliness and wonder why even life’s major milestones seem to lack true meaning for us.fa
God gives us wisdom on the topic of connecting in Ecclesiastes, which says, in part, “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” (Ecclesiastes 4:7-10)
Having meaningful relationships, living in authentic community is better than being isolated. So maybe instead of being celebrated, Batman should be pitied. He finds himself celebrating alone and even laughter is no fun when there’s no one to share it with.
PK identifies two powerful life lessons for us all in Lego Batman:
1) Life doesn’t work when you work alone!
Batman doesn’t do “ships” – as in relationships – because he thinks he prefers to work alone. But we see that what really matters in life is having authentic relationships with roots. Otherwise, when you stumble in life (and we all stumble), you’ll be on your own. As Batman discovered, when you work alone, you wear a mask even with the people you know. We fear rejection if we are our authentic selves, so it seems easier to remain isolated.
When you work alone, you lack self-awareness. You become BLIND to yourself, therefore you can’t see yourself or how you treat others. Your blindness often becomes your weakness, and your weakness can cause you to stumble and fall.
2) You can’t be a Hero if you only care about yourself.
You can’t be relationally or emotionally connected if you only care about yourself. The isolation we create leads to loneliness, and what good are celebrations and struggles if you have no one to share them with? Isolation and selfishness were never a part of God’s plan for our lives!
In Romans 12, we see God’s direction to us for building strong connections. We read that we are all part of the same body of Christ, although we have different functions and gifts. In verses 9-10, we are told to love sincerely and be devoted to one another in brotherly love. We are to honor one another by offering support, help and hospitality with those in need.
Pastor Kevin points out the proper application:
“I AM the church, I CARE ABOUT OTHERS. This is not telling others to be about me; this is teaching me to be about others. I don’t show up to church for me to be served; I show up for God and to serve others.”
This biblical guideline hits home for Batman when he painfully becomes aware of the reality of his isolation. Batman connects with others in order to do ‘ships’ – as in relationships – when he joins team with Gotham to beat the bad guys. And for the first time, Batman finds himself caring about people other than himself.
Connections that Last
In caring for others, Batman is no longer alone. He’s becoming a true hero. But it’s not enough that he cares. He has to go one step further and really connect. Batman finally allows these relationships to carry over into his personal life as well, no longer living in isolation, but becoming a true friend and being part of a family.
God created us to connect in community. And while sin has pulled apart our world of healthy relationships, Jesus makes it possible for us to re-connect to one another with him as the head of the church. This is why we are called a church family! Are there areas of your life where you can better connect with others?
So Lego Batman is not just a movie fantasy, it’s the reality of what Jesus accomplished when he died on the cross, rose to new life, and restores us to our created purpose. Life works best when we live in community with Him and with others. Through connection, we live out our life’s purpose and have an opportunity to grow. Real heroes restore relationships and community.