Recently I received an email from a church that did a sermon series on superheroes. That is popular now with the X-men, Thor, Captain America, Guardians of the Galaxy, Spiderman and the like. While these movie superheroes are presented in a very human way with their confusion, flaws and internal conflicts, I have to admit I thought the series title was both cliche' and a bit of a publicity stunt (especially true since the church staff were presented as superheroes, uniforms and all).
As I think of heroes I was wondering about real heroes. Yesterday afternoon we read the names of WW1 soldiers who gave their lives in defense of our country. I think they qualify. I thought about our mission connections and the people who work with those mission churches every day. They qualify too. Then I thought about Hebrews 11. Liars, adulterers, murderers, people who questioned themselves and God, and just folks who tried to follow God's call the best they could. No uniforms, no special powers (except those that God gave them) and no credit ... just faith.
It reminded me about one of my earlier churches that was very far off-base in their faith journey. I was telling some friends (a husband and wife) at the church how I would be leaving that summer. The wife said, "We thought you would be the one who saved our church." That was, at least, part of their problem. They were thinking I would be their superhero when the only superhero worthy of the title was a man who came down from God's throne, lived in humble estate, had nothing except 12 faulty followers, was accused of hanging out with sinners, was convicted of blasphemy and was nailed to a criminal's cross. But His birth, life, death and resurrection was true salvation for everyone. He is MY hero.
I think my next sermon series will be "Heroes of humility," telling the stories of Biblical and recent heroes who, overcoming their flaws, reflected Jesus in their lives, their work and their love. I hope it will be fun to share these stories and hear that
Be careful who you place on a pedestal, especially yourself! Randy