Plenty of kids grow up idolizing superheros, some never seem to outgrow the attraction. Relying on the right superhero for life insight and direction may not be a bad idea. You just need to choose wisely.
Before we explore superhero wisdom and insight today, welcome to “Mornings with Bishop Robert” — thanks for joining me.
When the Batman TV series began airing in 1966 most kids my age didn’t know it was a comedy. It was actually targeted at a teenage audience, which is an interesting gauge for how thoroughly we’ve allowed the age of innocence to be corrupted. The simplistic morality championed by the show included a focus on honorable behavior, doing homework, being fair, wearing seat belts and even drinking milk. Everything in Batman’s world had a “Bat” prefix. So he drove the Batmobile, which was kept in the Batcave. He was summoned either by the Bat-Phone or the Bat-Signal, and so one. Initially every story was told in two parts, since the shows aired on back-to-back nights. As the first episode came to a close, one or both of our heroes would be in a dangerous or life threatening predicament and we’d always end the cliff-hanger with the narrator instructing us to “Tune in tomorrow — Same Bat-Time, Same Bat-Channel.”
Batman’s sidekick Robin was constantly changing a catchphrase that was used two or three times in every episode. It always began with the word ‘holy” and the second part was supposed to have some sort of tie-in to their present situation. So, for example, when Batman and Robin are jumping up and down while trapped in a room with a red hot floor, Robin exclaims, “Holy Bunions, Batman!” Or, when a magician/jewel thief escapes Batman by using sleight of hand, Robin blurts out, “Holy Hole in a Doughnut!”
I mentioned earlier that you just need to choose wisely when picking the superhero you’d like to emulate. There’s no shortage of so-called heroes whose attributes are anything but heroic, running the gamut from truly racist to downright vile. I initially thought I might include a couple of examples to illustrate things you ought to avoid, but the list was pretty disgusting and included too much visual and verbal trash. So I nixed that idea.
Today’s verse says YOUR WORD IS A LAMP UNTO MY FEET AND A LIGHT FOR MY PATH.
One of the neat things about God is that His “super powers” are real! If you try to make a list of all God’s “super powers” you’re going to be busy for eternity. But here’s one that you can focus on, because it’s going to make a real difference in your life – God can transfer elements of His power into His followers. When you decide to follow Jesus, He forgives your sin. All of it. The transfer of His purity and righteousness is amazing, when you think about it. But now, since we are holy, He places His Holy Spirit within us. Holy Infilling, Batman! And the more we yield to His Spirit the greater the display of His power in us. There are places where the Book of Acts reads like a superhero story. Opponents are instantly blinded and need to be led about by the hand. Earthquakes strike prisons and doors break open while none of the prisoners is harmed. An angel appears in a jail cell and walks the apostolic prisoner to freedom, while both prisoner and angel remain invisible to the guards. A man is instantly transported over a dozen miles away from his location. Paralytics and lame people are healed by a word. Holy impossibility!
God’s word promises us not only His grace and His forgiveness, it promises us His power. He gives us His wisdom. He trains us through His Word and His people to know how to employ His gifts for His glory to advance His Kingdom. He leads us into situations and places where we have the opportunity to display His power, if we are willing to walk by faith. Will we do it perfectly? No. But He will continue to lead us and use us anyway. Holy grace!
Jesus sent His first disciples into the world with instructions to let people know that the kingdom of heaven is near. How were they to do that? Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, and drive out demons. If that doesn’t sound like a job for a superhero, I don’t know what does! But He said, “Freely you have received; freely give.” He gives us all we need, so that we can give, too. Let His word light up the path He wants you to follow. He’ll bring you where He intends to use you, then He’ll give you His power to accomplish His mission.
Holy call to impact a planet!