“Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, “How can I help?” (Romans 15:1-2, The Message)
What is a hero? The dictionary defines hero as another term for a submarine sandwich. A hero is also a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.
We need more heroes in this day and age (the latter kind, not the former). But I don’t really like the definition above. Our heroes, of course, are noble and brave. But what sets them apart from non-heroes is the emphasis on their action. They might be swearing an oath to protect our nation from enemies, foreign or domestic, or keeping their seats on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. But their actions are what make them heroic.
We might want to add to our definition something of Paul’s description above, too: Heroes are altruistic: They help others.
Now, put all that together: courage (faith), noble character, concern for neighbor, and action and you’ve defined a Christian. Jesus didn’t just save us from our sin…he saved us to a life of heroism!
This week I’m starting a new sermon series called “Action Heroes: The Lives and Ministries of Elijah and Elisha.” Both were prophets, but neither one of them preached or wrote books in the Bible. Their faith-filled action was their sermons. The miracles they performed were their lessons.
From them, we’ll learn what it takes to be a hero. And if you’re already thinking: “I don’t have what it takes to be a hero,” then make sure to be there Sunday because we’ll discuss the action hero requirements (spoiler alert: THERE ARE NO ACTION HERO REQUIREMENTS).
You just need a big God!