Why Do We Love Superheroes?

Courtesy of Pixabay

Courtesy of Pixabay

Yesterday, I sent my grandchildren to school wearing superhero T-shirts.

Why?

The family of the six-year-old boy killed in the Townville school shooting requested that people attend his funeral in superhero clothing instead of suits and ties. Jacob loved superheroes, and the whole country embraced this idea.  Stores sold out of superhero-themed clothing, and many people wore them as they went about their day, even if they weren’t attending the funeral.

This got me to thinking about why we love superheroes.

Superheroes represent our need for someone who steps in and saves us from the bad guys. A person with supernatural abilities who has a knack of showing up when people need them, kicking the bad guys to the curb, and ensuring we’re safe.

I have good news for you!  He already exists!

  • There is someone who is always there.
  • There is someone who saves us.
  • There is someone who keeps us safe.
  • There is someone with supernatural abilities.
  • There is someone who people turn to when they desperately need him, and he’s always there.

All we have to do is seek Him and He will be there. In fact, even when we forget to seek Him, He is there.

Who, you ask?

The Holy Trinity:  God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

We love superheroes because our souls cry out for someone who provides us this love and safety.

In Isaiah, we see His power and our yearning:

We have a strong city;
    God makes salvation
    its walls and ramparts.
Open the gates
    that the righteous nation may enter,
    the nation that keeps faith.
You will keep in perfect peace
    those whose minds are steadfast,
    because they trust in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
    for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.
He humbles those who dwell on high,
    he lays the lofty city low;
he levels it to the ground
    and casts it down to the dust.
Feet trample it down—
    the feet of the oppressed,
    the footsteps of the poor.

The path of the righteous is level;
    you, the Upright One, make the way of the righteous smooth.
Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws,[a]
    we wait for you;
your name and renown
    are the desire of our hearts.
My soul yearns for you in the night;
    in the morning my spirit longs for you.
When your judgments come upon the earth,
    the people of the world learn righteousness.

Isaiah 26: 1-9

In Psalms, we see how we yearn for Him:

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.  When can I go and meet with God? Psalm 42:1-2

My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Psalm 84:2

Is it any wonder that we are fascinated with the idea of a superhero? Our souls know we need Him.

My heart breaks for the family of Jacob Hall, but I’m so glad that he had a savior superhero to bend down and scoop him up in His loving arms and say, “You are safe. You are loved. I am here.”

Never fear, Jesus is always here.

 

Love One Another, Not Judge

lovecloudMy last two posts drew a lot of attention and caused me great sadness over our inability to love one another.  Your responses reminded me of two harsh truths:

  • Many people remain in abusive situations
  • Many people leave the church due to its reaction to their situations

Why can’t we get this right?

We’re not the only generations with this problem. We just have a larger vision of what’s happening in the world thanks to the internet and social media. It’s a two-edged sword. I can reach people with my posts, but so can others who share negative and hateful things. What causes them to say these things? They believe they are right and doing what is right.

What does Jesus have to say about what is right?

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”                   Luke 10:  25-28

We have clear directions from Christ, using the old testament (Deut. 6:5, Lev. 19:18) to reinforce his teaching.  Do you remember the expert in the law’s response to this? He asked, “Who is my neighbor?”

Jesus responds with the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37). In case you’re unfamiliar with the culture at this time, a Samaritan was considered the lowest of the low. A Jew would not interact with a Samaritan at all. Was Christ saying Samaritans are better than Jews? No. He used this story to demonstrate that all of us are neighbors and should care for and help each other. No one is better than anyone else, and all deserve our love.

So, I ask of you, if you know of someone hurting–due to abuse or some other issue–reach out to them with the love that Christ commands. Don’t let misguided Christians set them down the path to unfaithfulness.  Christ told us to love one another. He didn’t say judge one another.

Remember this the next time you’re tempted to judge someone. Odds are you don’t know the whole story, anyway.

 

We Are Called to Love One Another

I purposefully have not posted about the recent Supreme Court ruling. With all of the hype on social media, I wanted to let the frenzy die down a bit.  And as a side note, I never meant for this blog to be a political blog. It’s a blog on faith, not a blog on the current political situation.

That said, several of my posts as I journey through my development of faith touch on current topics, political or religious. I have tried to be mindful in my posts and present a loving and caring Christian attitude toward all.  In three of the gospels–Matthew, Mark, and Luke–the question of the greatest commandment comes up.  In all three accounts, the answer is similar:

Jesus replied:  “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and will all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.   And the second is like it:  ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  Matthew 23:37-40

The story in Luke 10:25-29 is slightly different.  In this case, an expert in the law asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus turned the tables and asked the expert to answer his own question.  The man gives the same answer as Jesus gives in Matthew 23 and Mark 12, and Jesus commends him for his answer.

Love is the key.  Not marital love like the Supreme Court just discussed, but agape love:  selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love. Agape love is used to describe Jesus’ love for his Father and for his followers.

We are called, as Christians, to love one another.  I have striven to exhibit that kind of love through my blog. It’s not easy, my friends, when discussing some of the atrocities that occurred in my life, but I’ve tried.

I have seen a lot of people on both sides of the gay marriage issue thumbing their noses at each other.  How ridiculous and childish.  I read a post a few weeks ago that pointed out that Jesus lived in a time when the government was rife with sin.  He didn’t try to change the government.  He focused on meeting people where they are and inviting them to see a different way of life.  A life of freedom from sin through accepting His love, and ultimately accepting His sacrifice.  Does the New Testament, the part of the Bible outlining the Christian faith, say anything about sin?  Absolutely.  One of the passages about this topic is found in 1 Corinthians 9-11:

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God?  Do not be deceived:  Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters not adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.  And that is what some of you were.  But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

It is there in the New Testament, but I ask you to consider what else appears in this list, or for a thrill, check our Galatians 5:19-21 which includes other lovely sins such as jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, hatred, discord, envy, etc.

Yes, these are all sins in the eyes of God.  And no one on earth is without sin.

What we need to do is show the love of Christ, not hatred. And, we must remember that even those of us who live by the Spirit are guilty of many of the other items listed in these verses.

We ALL fall short.

That is why we need Christ.

This is why He gave His life as a perfect sacrifice for our sins.

And this is why Christ commanded us to love one another because you can’t lead others to Christ through hatred.  It just doesn’t work. I am not immune to the current situation.  I have friends in same sex relationships and/or marriages.  I had a family member who chose that lifestyle for a while then turned away from it by choice, not by coercion. I love each of these people unconditionally.

I’m sure some will find fault with my words.  I’ve put them forth humbly and hope that others will understand my point.

I invite your comments but please speak with a willingness to discuss this situation with maturity. Remember, Christ commanded us to love one another.