This is a big weekend for me. My wife’s birthday is the main reason, let me be very, very clear about that. A secondary reason–a very secondary reason (almost not worth mentioning it’s so secondary)–is that the new Superman movie, Man of Steel, is being released.
I am that kid who used to tie a towel around his neck and jump off the furniture when George Reeves dove headfirst out the window of the Daily Planet building. (For you young whippersnappers who don’t know who George Reeves was, I pity you.) As far as I am concerned, Batman and Spiderman are wannabees. And Ironman? Puh-lease! Superman is the greatest superhero of them all!
Have you ever wondered why we love superheroes so much? Just about any movie that is made about a superhero will make a gazillion dollars, while far more thoughtful and intelligent movies will flop at the box office. And that doesn’t take into account all the ancillary products that go along with the movie. (I saw the coolest socks the other day. They were blue with the Superman “S” on the front and had a little red cape attached to the back of each sock. They were awesome!)
Maybe our love of superheroes has something to do with the need to believe in (and be rescued by) a higher power. When a couple of teenagers, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, created Superman in the 1930’s, they sure built in a lot of similarities to Jesus:
He came down from a home in the heavens.
He had earth-born parents who raised him.
He was a mystery to his parents in many ways.
He had amazing powers.
He had a heart for serving people.
He had a gentle spirit.
He had many enemies who wanted to kill him.
You’d have to be blind not to see the parallels.
As Christians, our message to the world should be that there is a real Superhero who really can rescue us. He’s not a figment of somebody’s imagination, but an actual person who came to earth to proclaim good news to the poor, to give sight to the blind, and to set the captives free. (Luke 4:18)
I don’t know about you, but I’m going to the movies this weekend. (But not until after we celebrate Marilyn’s birthday!) I am going to enjoy Man of Steel. I am going to thank God that I have a real Superhero in Jesus. And then next week I am going to go back to work doing what I’ve done for the last 38 years…telling people who don’t already know that they, too, can be rescued by a Hero who is super.