I feel the need to acknowledge the death and honor the life of Stan Lee of Marvel Comics fame. It was Stan who gave us Spiderman. It was Stan who encouraged the budding superhero with these words:
“With great power comes great responsibility.”
But with all deference to Stan, the quote actually comes from Jesus, who said this:
“From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required …”
And I think, whether Stan knew it or not, he had it right. If you have the ability to do something, you are required to use that ability to do good things. The fictional Spidey had great power. So, did the real-life Jesus. Both knew that with their power came great responsibility. They had to help others. And we are to do likewise. But Jeff, you say, I don’t have any superpowers! Yes, you do! We all do. As disciples of Jesus pour superpowers are kindness, generosity and love. And with those great powers, we have great responsibility. To be kind, generous and loving to those who need our help. To those around us who are hurting. To those who are suffering. To those around us who are in need.
There are many ways to be kind, generous and loving. We see them often in the “random acts of kindness” feature in the Post-Gazette. We see it when people speak up for the oppressed. We see it when people share. Using their superpowers to help others.
But we also see it when people just show up and offer words of comfort. That is what we experienced at the Tree of Life Synagogue in the past three weeks. People just showing up, placing flowers, lighting candles, placing stones, giving our free hugs. But there was one act that profoundly moved me.
A group of Hebrew School elementary students from New York (I believe) sent several three ring binders containing pictures they drew and one-line prayers on each page. These children could not “show up” personally, but their kindness, generosity and love did show up in the form of a simple prayer book. They used their superpower prayers to help others.
They shared what they had. They were superheroes. This week, Pastor Jeff will preach “Time to Share” based on Mark 6: 34-44. Come and hear. We will look forward to seeing you.