Salt and Light(s, Camera, Action)

Like most of the world, I am currently obsessing over Black Panther; so much so that I’ve seen it multiple times in theaters (all this without MoviePass™… talk about dedication). The film boasts a dynamic plot, character build, and a seamless integration into the Marvel cinematic universe. The characters were well-written, and the cast lends itself to make the plot all the more enjoyable. To their credit, there was a natural chemistry between the cast members. Throughout the film, newcomer Letitia Wright proved her skill and natural charm while delivering lines like “Guess what I call them? Sneakers. Because you… never mind.” While Shuri may have been written with a certain charm, I feel as though this came naturally to her. On and off screen, Wright has been a showstopper with her attitude and humility.

Wright has been incredibly outspoken regarding her faith in media, on her social media, and during filming. In an interview with Vanity Fair, she remarked “Everybody has their thing that they’re truthful about. My thing is just a love of God … so that’s what I’m going to do.”  Black Panther director Ryan Coogler also noted her charisma on set, calling her “the love and the light” of the film. During an interview with UK talk show This Morning, the hosts asked Wright about her past with acting; specifically, they questioned her about the fact that she considered giving up on acting altogether. Her response revealed that she experienced trials, but was able to overcome them through her relationship with Christ.

I needed to take a break from acting because I really idolized it. So I came off from it and I went on a journey to discover God and my relationship with God, and I became a Christian. It really just gave me so much love and light within myself. I felt secure, and I felt like I didn’t need validation from anyone else, or from getting a part. My happiness wasn’t dependent on that, it was dependent on my relationship with God.

God desires godliness everywhere, including the film industry, and we are called as Christians to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16). In an industry that is seemingly riddled with scandal, Wright’s faith is both encouraging and refreshing. She has spoken boldly in the past about her faith, and I don’t imagine that changing anytime soon. This has the ability to shift the conversation in a world that is in desperate need of the Gospel. But, it can’t be left to just this actress alone; bold as she may be, she is only one. There is a whole world in need of the Gospel, and the impact would be tremendous, but the laborers are counted as few (Matthew 9:37-38). Each of us is equipped differently, but we all have the ability to shift the conversation, just as Wright is doing in her work and life. Wherever you are, and whatever you are doing, do it all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). In that, we set ourselves apart and allow Christ to work through us.

alexsimonAlexandria is a worship coordinator for Driven Youth Ministries, and small group leader for Shift Preteens and The One Young Adults. She has a passion for Marvel Movies and graphic novels, as well as Lord of the Rings or anything fantasy. Find her on Twitter at @faitdetoiles

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*Exclusions Not Applicable

There is something wildly fascinating to me about comic conventions. But here’s the catch… I have never, ever been to single comic convention (side note: this is why I’m so excited to be going to MegaCon Orlando in May).

Fans leave the convention center on day one of Comic-Con International held at the San Diego Convention Center. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Invision/AP)

That said, this is going to be based on a lot of speculation, but hear me out: there is such a sense of camaraderie among those who share similar interests. I jump at the opportunity to experience new events, and I love learning about comic artists, upcoming movies, and video games. For those who have grown up appreciating nerd-culture, there’s an investment in attending a comic convention because they have grown alongside their favorite characters and universes. This community is cultivated on a kind of give-and-take of knowledge and passion for geek things.

There’s also this really incredibly inclusive aspect to nerdiness that you don’t have to meet requirements of a certain kind of “personhood” to actually be a nerd. There are people from all walks of life who find themselves fascinated by all things geeky. I have a friend from Lille who introduced me to my first graphic novels, a friend from the Bronx who sent me a documentary on comic artists, and a friend from Encarnación who convinced me to read sci-fi novels. The point is this: there is no guideline on who can or cannot be a nerd, and there is certainly no “*Exclusions apply, see back for details” on any comic, book, movie, video game, or convention. This is a community of people who, even for just a day, lay aside their differences to come together based on a common-thread appreciation of an art form.

If it is true that there is no *Exclusions apply, see back for details on anything nerdy, then it is even more true for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He came not to condemn the world, but to save the world… the ENTIRE world (John 3:16-17). The Gospel is for men, women, all sinners, and all those sinned against. Christians come from a multitude of circumstances, experiences, cultures, and heritages. Based on that alone, it is evident that you don’t have to be a certain kind of person before becoming a Christian. Jesus has extended adoption to us through His death and resurrection, to call Christians children of God (John 1:12-13, Galatians 3:26-29). We are known as God’s children by the love we have for one another, despite our circumstances, experiences, cultures and heritages. Jesus is the common foundation on which we build our lives, and that alone unites us in a unique and profound way.

alexsimonAlexandria is a worship coordinator for Driven Youth Ministries, and small group leader for Shift Preteens and The One Young Adults. She has a passion for Marvel Movies and graphic novels, as well as Lord of the Rings or anything fantasy. Find her on Twitter at @faitdetoiles


New Episode for Friends & Sweethearts!

Check out our latest video episode! It’s the Valentine’s season, and this week we’re talking about love… not just romantic love (although you might find some of that this week in the most awkward dating game ever!) We’re talking “Galentines and Palentines,” the friendships that God gives us, plus Scott Higa stops by to talk Thor the Dark World in our I See You MCU.

Vs. Injustice

Superhero movies are my favorite. I have been obsessed with the Spider-Man movies (especially the Tobey Maguire ones… not sorry) since I was a little girl. Superhero movies are just great, and I love to see the good guy overcome the challenges presented by their villains. Whether it’s the Green Goblin or Doctor Octopus, there is always someone who is hurting those who cannot defend themselves. What’s a city to do without the ability to  properly defend itself? The answer, in this case, would be to call upon someone who can, and that someone is their friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

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No matter the crisis or the villain, the story doesn’t begin there. We see from the start that Peter Parker had been wronged by a broken society; the brokenness resulted in the death of his beloved Uncle Ben. Peter probably could have just continued his life, but his loss and hurt compelled him to action. He inevitably began to take matters into his own hands, using his great power and great responsibility to become the Spider-Man. He became a hero for the every man, defending those who would have otherwise been defenseless. He desired to restore justice to the place which he loved, despite having been wronged by their failure to protect his loved ones.

Justice is something we all desire, knowingly or not. Like Peter Parker, we have all been affected by injustices in one way or another. It should compel us to action in the same way (minus the suit and web shooters.) Because we know injustices and oppression hurt, the Lord reminds us to extend our hand to others (Deut. 10:18-19, Exodus 23:9). Our desire, like the prophet Isaiah, should be to “free those who are wrongly imprisoned” (58:6, NLT). God’s throne is built on righteousness and justice, and our defense is in Him (Psalm 89:14,18). For the believer, justice began on the Cross of Jesus Christ. It would be in injustice to keep that to ourselves. So, by God’s grace, we must extend that opportunity of true justice to the defenseless.

 

alexsimonAlexandria is a worship coordinator for Driven Youth Ministries, and small group leader for Shift Preteens and The One Young Adults. She has a passion for Marvel Movies and graphic novels, as well as Lord of the Rings or anything fantasy. Find her on Twitter at @faitdetoiles

Christ Culture//Nerd Culture