Who is your spiritual Super Hero?
I’m not particularly one who enjoys super hero movies. However there are a couple I don’t mind and “The Incredible’s” is one of them. Good vs evil; right vs wrong. These are good themes to explore especially when it is good and right that comes out on top. In the world we live in today, we need that message to be heard … that good can triumph over evil and right can beat wrong; there can be justice; and that there are forces of good at work in the world that accomplish more than we can imagine, and definitely more than we hear about.
As I was reflecting, I wondered who our spiritual super heroes might be. Scripture is full of examples of individuals who we heroic in their faith and out of that in their lives of faithfulness. They had power that was from beyond themselves and which was in fact from God. Each was given their abilities and gifts to use in a way that promotes the message of God’s love, healing, mercy and grace.
Who are some of the spiritual super heroes I think of … David … Moses … Isaiah … Ruth … Sarah … Mary … John … Peter … Paul … Thomas … Zacchaeus … Mary Magdalene… the centurion … Joseph … and the list goes on and on throughout both the old and new testaments.
However, there are also others throughout the history of time that I would call spiritual super heroes too … Ignatius … Joan of Arc … Augustine … John Chrysostom … Teresa of Avila … Julien of Norwich … all from the early church . And further along there was John Wycliffe who lived in the 14th Century and translated the scriptures from Latin into English for the common person; and William Wilberforce who was a believer and politician in England who helped end the slave trade after becoming a Christian; Corrie Ten Boom who taught forgiveness and reconciliation after being interred in a German concentration camp; Pastor Saeed Abedini who was arrested in Iran for holding a Bible study in his house, who was persecuted, and prosecuted in an Iranian prison from 2012 to 2016; Martin Luther King who was assassinated because of his work for racial justice in the USA; Desmond Tutu who worked tirelessly for the end of Apartheid in South Africa; Mother Teresa who ministered to the sick in the gutters of Calcutta; Archbishop Oscar Romaro who was a martyr for the people of central America. And there are many more such individuals that we could name past and present too.
These individuals may not be able to see through walls or jump over tall buildings or stop speeding trains. However, these individuals had a strong faith that allowed them to live in such a way as to proclaim the gospel kingdom message, even and especially in circumstances where it wasn’t popular. They spoke truth to power and called for changes that would bring about respect and dignity for all people and not just a chosen few; they often risked their very lives, putting themselves in dangers way because there was a cause to speak up for and a truth to fight for; they had an impact that resulted in lasting transformation. And all of that was out of their faith that was at the center of their very lives.
The truth is, we are each called in our own way to be spiritual super heroes. We likely won’t have the kind of stage or audience that they had. However, we can have a significant impact when we also use our God give gifts, talents and abilities to proclaim the gospel message of hope, love and mercy.
I think we can also be superheroes in what seem like small and insignificant ways … calling someone who might be down for one reason or another … inviting a friend to go out for coffee … taking a shut in for a drive in the country … visiting with someone who is in hospital … taking a casserole to a family who has experienced a death … smiling at the person serving you in the store even though they’re slow and making mistakes … letting the person in who is trying to get out of their driveway on a busy street … tell someone you know who is going through a tough time that you’ll pray for them. There are a myriad of ways that we can have a profound impact that are so simple and yet so faithful at the same time. Remember, we can be superheroes for God!!
When you think of spiritual super heroes, who has impacted you and your outlook on life and the world … who has been a spiritual super hero for you in your life … how can you be a spiritual super hero for someone else?
I offer us this prayer that reminds us of our calling to join in the team of spiritual super heroes for God and the building up of God’s kingdom …
God, thank you for putting others in my path
who remind me of my mission
to love courageously and selflessly as Jesus did.
Help me find the courage to act when faced with the unknown.
Guide me to believe in the coming good.
Save a spot for me next to you in the trenches.
Give me the strength to make sacrifices
and readily accept hard assignments.
Teach me to quickly recognize opportunities
to model your love and to praise others
for the work they have done.
Encourage me to humbly join forces
with the companions you send my way.
Guard our backs as we work hard
to bring glory to your name.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Remember, if you have a question, I encourage you to send it to me in an email and I will do my best to answer it either in a weekly update or in a sermon.
As always, my inbox is open, and so is my office door if you’d like to chat. I’m usually in my office most mornings Monday through Thursday unless otherwise announced due to a meeting. Stop by or make an appointment!
Take care and have a blessed day and week!