Gotham is a TV series which introduces yet another take on the emergence of the comic book hero, Batman. The plotlines propose violence as an antidote to violence, as if redemption is achieved simply by who holds the most powerful arsenal of weapons. The show echoes the widely held conviction that security can only ever be achieved through violent methods, legitimised through government enforcement.
Gazing back at the redemptive act of love as presented by Jesus, we see a very different expression. Love only overcomes violence by refusing to adopt violent retaliation. By making his way to the cross, Jesus becomes the ultimate and final blood sacrifice for the redemption of humanity. We have no more need of violence in resolving difference, being gifted with love as its alternative. The kingdom of God as articulated by Jesus is often described as ‘an upside down kingdom’. Paul reminds us that it is in foolishness and weakness that love conquers all.
Caring for Katey, I endured my critics who said it was foolish to give up everything else, including my paid job, in my commitment to care for her. I also discovered my own weakness in that I was unable to care as I yearned to, since my own reactions got in the way.
However, anger that expressed itself through violent outbursts and physical self-harming only added to Katey’s burden. I had to accept my weakness and care for her in my weakness. At such points, the rays of God’s love broke through, warming both our souls deep within. It was the upside down kingdom.
I had the authority through Christ to manage that anger and choose to live accepting God’s pattern for our life together. We found rest in the heart of the hurricane that was tearing our house apart. Together with Christ, we found our true strength and our true identity.
(Dr Micha Jazz)
With many peaceful blessings