Does it feel like a Monster?
Apparently there are seven basic plots when writing, one of them is called, Overcoming the Monster. Christopher Booker says its ‘an underdog story where the hero sets out to destroy an evil of some kind… and will take great courage and strength to defeat.’
Booker says there are five stages in this plot:
Anticipation Stage and Call, we learn about the monster, including its powers and reign of terror over the community, and the hero accepts the call to defeat it.
Dream Stage, the hero prepares to fight the monster while it is still a comfortable distance away, although the distance between the two is decreasing.
Frustration Stage, the monster is here! And it’s even worse than we thought! It looks like our hero is in way over his or her head.
Nightmare Stage, cue the epic battle music and it’s not going well for our hero… But wait! Just as all hope is lost…
The Thrilling Escape from Death, the monster is defeated, the hero emerges victorious, and the grateful people present him/her with treasure, a kingdom to rule over…
As Jonathan and I read Booker together we were struck by the similarities to our current situation and the unfolding global crisis as we face the monster of Covid-19. Certainly it can feel like we’re facing a monster!
When we reflect on the life of Jesus we can see some similarities there too. Sin and death are the anticipated (Matthew 1:21) monsters to which Jesus accepts the call to defeat (Matthew 3:13-14). Jesus on many occasions prepares for the fight by telling the disciple that he must suffer and be raised again (Matthew 16:21).
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus is frustrated by his disciple’s inability to see just how serious this monster is (Matthew 26:36-56). Then it gets worse, Jesus actually dies (Matthew 27:45-55) – the ultimate nightmare! That doesn’t quite fit with Booker’s formula, does it!
But wait there’s good news, Jesus’ death wasn’t the end of the story, there’s a thrilling escape from death as the women went to the tomb the angel said ‘He is not here; he has risen’ (Matthew 28:6). The monsters of sin and death are defeated for us, by God Himself!
These are difficult days, and I found as I reflected on the monster of Covid-19, even though it feels at times like we are on the back foot we have an incredible true story to share, about the most awesome hero of all, who rose from the dead!
Be encouraged this Easter, Jesus has defeated the monster!
By Wendy Goldthorpe, Parish Administrator
Dear Father God, thank you that Jesus defeated the monster of sin and death, praise you that he is the hero we need, help us to trust him when we feel afraid. Amen