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Monday-Guardian of the Galaxy

What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father.

Galatians 4:1,2[1]

You got to hand it to Disney. They looked into their crystal ball and saw a potential pot of gold that would give them a wildly huge return through their $4 billion investment in Marvel Studios. And Guardians of the Galaxy didn’t disappoint as this one film franchise alone approaches $2 billion at the box office.

And in case you’ve missed it, Guardians of the Galaxy are a fictional superhero team appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. It all started when Star-Lord decides to form a team of interstellar heroes that will be proactive in protecting the galaxy, rather than reacting to crises as they happen. The characters are Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Groot, Phyla-Vell, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, and Adam Warlock.

At some point in our lives, I bet we’ve all wanted to be a guardian. Someone to protect and look after those in trouble. Take care of the weak. Our kids all loved The Adventures of Super Pickle[2], a popup children’s book. He was the “defender of the tender – archenemy of all who have gone sour.”

But what is a guardian? It’s someone who looks after others. They defend the weak, those who can’t take care of themselves. They protect then against evil individuals and groups who want nothing more than to take away their freedom and belongings.

Back in the day, fathers appointed guardians to train and protect their young children until they were old enough, strong enough physically and emotionally, to make decisions for themselves. This still happens today. You might have heard about how Britney Spears’ guardianship[3] was ended after 14 years.

Paul’s using this idea of a guardian as an illustration to compare laws in contrast to God’s grace in Jesus. Guardians protect someone underage, someone that cannot decide or speak for themselves. But laws are either obeyed or broken. You either obey them or not.

Another thing about laws is that there is no forgiveness. You don’t earn any credits for obeying a rule. You just avoid the punishment. And when you break a law, punishment comes down like a hammer. There is no grace with laws. There is no love with laws.

Laws are good. We all need rules and boundaries. If for nothing more than our own protection. A world without any laws isn’t a free world, but chaos, pain, and destruction.

Parents hold the hand of young children, not to restrict them, but to protect them. Letting a child run free near a busy street, or in a crowd is just asking for trouble.

When I was small, I was walking with my dad in downtown Baltimore. I must have seen something that grabbed my attention, so I let go of my dad’s hand in order to investigate. My dad kept watch over me from a safe distance while I satisfied my insatiable curiosity.

When I had seen enough, I reached up and, without looking, grabbed the first hand I came to. I expected it to be my dad’s. But much to my surprise it wasn’t. I immediately started to cry, and my dad came to my rescue.

This may seem like a small, insignificant story, but it speaks volumes to me. We’re always interested in the next bright, shiny object in life. We’re always, always, always looking for the next big thing. The next, more exciting experience.

It’s a picture of the way that God watches over us. He’s holding our hand like a loving, watchful parent. Always providing for us. Always protecting us. Always watching our back for us.

And not if, but when we let go of his hand, or pull away from him, he’s never far away. He keeps an eye out for us. Never letting us go out of his sight. He’s always, always, always going to be there for us. To protect us[4].

We can never shake ourselves from him. His love for us is unshakeable. Unmovable. Unchanging. He only wants the best for us. He’ll never abandon us. He’ll never walk away from us.

This doesn’t mean that there’s no pain or disappointment in this life. This world is broken, so life will be filled with undeserved hurt and suffering. There will also be consequences in this life for disobedience to his loving laws.

But God is our great Guardian of the Universe. Not guardians, but Guardian. The one and only. He alone is the one to turn to.

[1] Unless otherwise noted, all Bible references are from the New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. [2] [3] [4] Psalm 139:7-12


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