Purpose: to inspire the church to be
who they really are, in Christ.
We don’t call Jesus, ‘superman’, because he is ‘Jesus’.
When we think about Jesus, we see him in the bible stories. There, he is the man who heals, preaches, falls out with the rulers of his day and dies a terrible death. He is then amazingly brought back to life, appears to his friends, before disappearing a second time, this time (apparently) for good. But the church is born in the astonishing equipping power of the Holy Spirit, and a new era of hope and light for the world begins.
We call Superman by this name because he is a super, or superior human being. He does things which the ordinary man or woman could never do. He flies, sometimes faster than the speed of light. He has incredible strength, knowledge and thinking power. He fights better than anyone else, though sometimes this takes time to prove. He is kind and loves to rescue people. He is also a one-off, and when he disappears from time to time the world falls into anarchy and chaos. Only when he reappears does order resume, thanks to his deliberations. But he is irreplaceable. Once gone, there is no one to take his place. His final departure would turn the world into a place of utter hopelessness and despair.
With the power that Jesus sent after his departure, ordinary people become extraordinary. The Holy Spirit enables people to follow in the likeness of Jesus by performing exactly the kind of acts of love and kindness to a needy world that he did. We can look back at the start of all this by reading about a man called Peter, who was transformed from a very ordinary, rather brash but well intentioned fisherman, into a man who could speak powerful words of wisdom to vast crowds and kindly heal some very sick and disaffected people. He also upset the insecure rulers of his day, but even their death threats didn’t seem to bother him much. When they eventually did kill him, there were plenty of people to take his place, such as Paul of Tarsus. So the acts of kindness continued. These people were enabled to build themselves into a large body of people so that when Paul also was killed by the authorities, guess what? There were plenty of people to take his place too!
And so it has gone on down the years. People always readily available to bring hope and light to a world in utter hopelessness and despair, though many knew it not.
Generally speaking, our pasts are full of ordinariness from which there is no escape. We are the products of our parents. If they are ordinary so are we. Only one man had a father from the planet Krypton. There is only one superman, and that’s Superman himself.
Or is there?
In Christ, we are not so much a product of our past; we are prototypes of the future. A heavenly future!
Every one of us is capable of being a Peter and a Paul. Not in style and function perhaps but in the likeness of Christ upon our own personal identities. It enables us to be ourselves in brilliant colours, as oppose to what most of us are used to, the black and white of the ordinariness which surrounds us.
Imagine heaven’s glory shining out of you, just like it did from Jesus when He walked the earth.
You are chatting to your neighbour across the garden fence.
You are attending a team meeting at work.
You are putting food in your trolley at the supermarket.
You are having a family party.
And so on…
As prototypes of heaven we are developing works of progress with ever-increasing amounts of the ‘super’ of heaven into our natural.
The world’s hero, Superman, is no hero at all. He can’t even reproduce himself. He is a fictional ego. Like wealth, the great hope we attach to it vanishes with death. In the end it is a sad story. Just another in a long line of human futility, trying to live a happy life separate from our Creator God.
As supernatural people we are bringing a new type of superman to the people in our lives. He has most attributes of the character from the comics plus much more. He is not one person. He is all of us, both you and me.
One superman achieved a great deal of thrilling exploits. Just imagine what a community of supermen and superwomen could achieve together. Like Jesus said, ‘ You shall do even greater works than I.’