Major Spoilers Ahead…
Thor: Ragnarok, released earlier this month, is the third film based on the Marvel superhero and Norse god, Thor. Much to the delight of nerds like myself, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) machine is releasing multiple comic book based films yearly. Thor: Ragnarok is just one of many phase-three films that are climaxing towards phase four and the cosmic battle with the ultimate boss, Thanos. Nevertheless, this movie is mostly self-contained and is the classic sibling-rivalry story. In this story, the fight is over the fate of Asgard with a little Incredible Hulk thrown in for fun.
Theologically, there are a few paths we could venture towards. However, the one theological point that has remained with me has been a quote from Odin. Now, in Norse mythology, Odin is the high king and god, much like Zeus in Greek mythology. Concerning Ragnarok, the impending apocalyptic destruction of Asgard, Odin tells his son, Thor, “Asgard is not a place, it’s a people.” In the epic battle between brothers, Thor and Loki, against their sister and the goddess of death, Hella, the realm of Asgard is lain to waste and it’s people find themselves in refugee status. The once powerful Asgardians become refugees adrift in the universe (this itself is another topic to consider).
Consequently, the theological parallel to reflect upon and I call us to consider in our own reality revolves around the Church, hijacking Odin’s words for the sake of doing so. Perhaps, we would benefit to remember, the Church is not a place (i.e., a building). It’s a people. As the body of Christ, the Church is intended to be united in the Spirit of LOVE. Too often we base our corporate identity in the size of our church buildings and budgets. However, the Church is at it’s best when we are simply in unity with one another. No matter if we are in mega-buildings with the finest architecture or refugees adrift in the midst of deserts, the bond of unity within our beloved community is the ultimate expression of being a “people.” That is exactly the point Odin was making to Thor. Asgard, the place, was gone. Yet, it’s people remained in unity.
Overall, Thor: Ragnarok ranks in my top three MCU films. Visually, the movie is stunning. It has a positive vibe and a fun soundtrack to boot. Likewise, the movie critics have received this film very positively. Heck, even Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 92 percent rating. From start to finish, it is pure escapist bliss for stressed out divinity students much like yourselves. Go, treat yourself!!!