We might think of heroes as crime-fighters in tights, running around with their underwear outside their pants. They're supposed to use their superpowers selflessly, serve with great courage, and work for justice. Superheros are larger than life, but we all have the opportunity to behave heroically. Acting selflessly with humility, we have opportunities each day to engage the challenges before us and be heroes for our families and in our communities.
As Christians, our model and ideal is more awesome than in any comic book, and he is found in the person of Jesus Christ. In scripture, we discover who Jesus is and learn how we can follow in his footsteps. 1 Peter 2:21 says, “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.” So if Christ is our example what does it look like to follow his example and walk in his steps?
Some heroes are full of flash and dazzle looking for affirmation and attention, but this is not the example that Jesus gave us.
"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross" (Phil 2:5-8).
Christ left the splendor of heaven for us. He emptied himself and took on our earthly flesh. He chose to be born as a helpless baby in a hick town to a single mom because we mattered more than enjoying the comforts of heaven. Christ did not come as an earthly prince, but as a teacher who washes the feet of his disciples. His love for us cost him his earthly life, but he was willing to sacrifice for us. He challenges us to take on that mantel of humility and care for those around us.
Some heroes show their power by smashing their opponents. Christ holds all the power of the universe but chose to accept the cup of suffering and death in our place rather than see us separated from having a relationship with our Heavenly Father. There is no greater love than this: the laying down of one's life for another. In our world where we get ruffled over things not going our way, we have the option of stepping up heroically and acting with selflessness to bless our families and communities.
Some heroes act on their own agenda. Jesus chose to sacrifice himself for us and for the establishment of his Father's kingdom. In his life, death, and resurrection, Jesus overcame the powers of this world to restore us to himself. Jesus described his work with these words from Isaiah, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.”
God is at work building his kingdom. We all have the opportunity to step up and be the heroes in the places where God has placed us. We can guide our families by our servant leadership to be champions for bringing in God’s kingdom. We are placed in our families for a purpose. As we live in humility and love others sacrificially, we are a part of God's kingdom being built on this earth. We are called to love God with all of our being and to communicate God’s love to the next generation. That is our mission, in our everyday going we are making disciples by sharing the love that Jesus has shown to us.
The prophet Micah says it this way, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
Rev. Dr. Steven Koster