How much would you pay to meet Superman, Wonder Woman and Spiderman?
I am not one to blow my own trumpet, at least not too much, but I will say that I did meet them all recently at ComicCon in London. For the benefit of the uninitiated (and it is pretty hard to describe) ComicCon is like a great get-together for all lovers of fantasy/science fiction. Alongside endless stalls selling books, comics and memorabilia, there were also seminars on a bewilderingly wide range of seminars on all things to do with your average superhero.
The highlight for my daughter was to see the tardis used in the Dr Who series. There were also in attendance a few VIPS (I am not so ashamed to say that I didn’t recognise any of them) from the film world and, for a fee- up to £80!- you could briefly meet them and get a photograph signed. It was more if you wanted to get your photograph taken with them (are we in the wrong business?)!
For most people the big hit of the conference was the chance to see Sebastian Stan (from the ‘Winter Soldier’ film) as he did an interview. Hannah and I just about managed to squeeze into the massive and packed auditorium to hear what Stan had to say. However, I did wonder part way through the interview why we had bothered as dear Sebastian was largely inaudible (you would think that a professional actor would know how to hold a mich!). But this wasn’t a great loss as what I could hear him say was about as sensible and useful as an ash tray on a motor bike...
For me the highlight of ComicCon was not the VIPs, but the endless people in attendance who dressed up as their favorite super hero. In most cases, I am guessing, that they made their costumes themselves, which was no small feat and must have taken ages to complete.
All of this left me wondering as to why it is that we love the whole idea of a ‘super hero’? Could it be that all of us feel instinctively that the problems of our world, be they personal, local or international, are just too big for us to solve? Hence, we want a superhero to swoop in, in a blaze of glory, and save the day.
How very different is God’s way of doing things. Instead of the ‘blaze of glory’ there is the supreme demonstration of humility- God becomes man, an ordinary man, a man who would have been mistaken for being a sinner like everybody else (only he wasn’t). Instead of the grand show-down when Superman shows his strength by gloriously defeating all the bad guys, we have the Son of God dying an inglorious death as he is mocked by his enemies. In Jesus God revealed not his strength but his weakness, not his wisdom but his foolishness, doing everything exactly different to the way the world thinks. It is like God lays down his machine gun and picks up a child’s catapult to take on the world. Yet, today, for those with eyes to see, it is in this weak, shameful, “foolish” death of Christ that we see the answer to the world’s problem- sin.
Have you got eyes to see or are you still scanning the horizon for the ‘man of steel’ to show up? In the words of Tina Turner- ‘we don’t need another hero’, what we do need is a Saviour, a man of flesh and blood who was willing to give that flesh and blood to purchase the salvation of all who will come to him in faith.