Well would you look at that! This is my 40th post since starting this blog over a year ago! Wow that feels like forever ago and just yesterday at the same time. Thanks to all my loyal readers who have stuck with me all this time and to any first-time readers, thanks for taking a look! There’s plenty of material to read if you’re interested! Today I want to talk about one of my favorite things, Superheroes. If you read my post a few weeks ago about my drive down to Ave Maria then you know all about my undying love for Superman. However, today we’re going to delve a little deeper into the genre. But first, an update on how things are going at Ave!
The team and I got to have dinner with two Ave Maria community members last week, Nancy and Randy. They’re such an amazing couple and they helped set up meetings with other community members last year us when we wanted to do some fundraising for our big conferences. I’m really happy to say that they’re going to do th same this year. Thanks so much to you guys for all the help and the delicious meal they fed us. Also, thanks for letting us take another great picture with the one and only, Pope Francis…..cardboard cutout.
Bible Studies are going really well. I’m leading two on campus this year: Beer and Jesus and then what I call my DinoStudy (long story) and I’ve got a consistent number of awesome students attending. I can’t tell you how amazing it is to dive into scripture with these guys. I love hearing their insights as we read the Lord’s word together. It’s always some of the best parts of the week when I get to sit down and crack open the Bible with these guys. I only pray that I can continue to be a good leader for this great group of men and that Go really speaks to them in the passages that we read together.
Team life is great, discipleships are going really well and life in general at Ave has been great. I’m constantly reminded of how blessed I am to be at such a beautiful campus surrounding by the wonderful people here. Thanks be to God.
Now! Time to get into the Superheroes. If you haven’t noticed in the past, Superheros in general are kind of an allegory for Christianity and Spiritual Warfare, Think about it: Great Heroes facing off with diabolical Villains while the fate of millions hang in the balance? The ongoing struggle of good against evil? Themes of virtue, peace, justice and truth? Sounds a lot like Christianity to me. Today I want to discuss three particular heroes are the perfect archetypes for Christians: Superman, Batman and Captain America.
First off: It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s the one and only Superman. He’s the perfect example of a Christ-like figure. Just think: He was sent to Earth by his Father from the Heavens above. He’s human but also not human at the same time. Though he was treated like an outcast, he has the power to save humanity. He’s widely regarded as the most powerful superhero of all (in addition to one of the first) and the one who sets the standard for all others. The “S” on his chest stands for “Hope” and he stands for Truth, Justice and the American Way. Though he’s been tempted to cross over to the dark side before he’s never faltered and continues to be a beacon of light and hope. he;s a savior that as hard as other heroes may try, the’ll never be able to match the power of Superman. But even so, he inspires them to be better and never turns his back on anybody in need. If you saw Man of Steel there’s actually a few scenes where he’s actually has his arms outstretched like Jesus on the cross. Subtle right?
Next up we have Batman, arguably everyone’s favorite Superhero nowadays. Batman is a great example of the Independent Christian. He is purely human with no superpowers whatsoever. But what he does have is an incredible intellect and the will to never give up. He trains super hard and long to became the crime-fighting force he is. He’s got all sorts of fancy gadgets and tools that help him out. Sure he’s had a few sidekicks here and there but for the most part he chooses to do the most dangerous work alone. He’s a force of good, but it comes from a dark place. One of the reasons I think Batman is more popular than Superman is because his world is so much darker and grungier. Our culture is fascinated with all things doom and gloom because we find it intriguing, edgy and exciting while Superman (Jesus) is more the “goody two-shoes.” Batman is the kind of Christian who tries to do everything by himself. He’s fight for justice and truth but he tries to do it without any help. he relies for the most part on himself and his tools and likes to refuse the help of other heroes. As hard as he may try, he’ll never be as powerful as Superman.
Finally we have Captain America and he’s the perfect example of the type of Christian we should strive to be. If you haven’t seen the movie and don’t now much about him let me just give you a brief background. Steve Rogers was just a super scrawny and weak guy from Brooklyn during. Despite being so, he had a pure heart and always stood up for what was right. He got beat up a lot but never gave up. When WWII started he tried repeatedly to join the Army but was constantly rejected because of how small/sickly/weak he was. But he kept trying because he wanted to fight for justice and to protect those he loved. Eventually he found his way into the Army by volunteering for an experimental super soldier program. He was injected with a serum that transformed him from the small and weak Steve Rogers into the powerful and agile Captain America an he leader of the Avengers. He became a Superhero.
Now listen closely. Steve is still human but part of him isn’t. Just like us. We are purely human but have an immortal soul. He was always just, brave, good and true but he couldn’t be super without some help. He needed the serum to help make him Super. Just like the super soldier serum gave him his strength and agility, our baptism gives us the Holy Spirit, which can help transform us. Make us stronger, more courageous and more faithful. He empowers us to be able to achieve great things.
So the moral of that story is to strive to be like Superman but recognize that we can’t do it alone. We need each other to support and build each other up. We need to be confident in ourselves and always work hard. But most importantly we need to seek and rely on God. He created us and wants to give us to grace to achieve the greatness that we’re made for.
Well I hope you enjoyed that extended analogy. It really spoke to me when I heard it. And before you give me the credit, I didn’t come up with this. I heard it from my teammate Nick when the team was meeting with our student leaders for the first time. So thank you Nick for giving that speech!! Hope you all get something out of it. Just gearing up for this week now and it should be a pretty good one! Look for my next post to hear all about it and remember that as cool as Batman is, we should all strive to be Captain America.