I got home unusually tired from work a few weekends ago and turned on the telly to find Superman II – Brilliant, I love old films.
Storyline of Superman II is that Superman falls in love with Lois Lane but can’t be with her unless he chooses to give up all his superhuman powers
What happens next is that Clark Kent gets into a fight trying to protect Lois Lane but gets beaten up, actually seeing his own blood for the first time in his life. Then the world falls apart after it gets taken over by an evil power – In the end, Superman realises that the world cannot cope without a saviour, he says in a later film that when other people hear silence, he can hear the world crying out for a saviour, and has to give up Lois Lane and become a super-hero again to save the planet.
Its a great story, but not real.
Like all great stories, it is based on a real story though.
There is a real life person who gave up his super human powers to be with someone he loved, who was it?… Jesus
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made…The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1-3, 14)
When John talks about The Word, he is talking about Jesus
In the beginning was Jesus, and Jesus was with God, and Jesus was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made… Jesus became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Jesus loves each of us so much that he chose to give up everything that made him God so that we could learn how to come close to God.
He took on a human body, having to be born from and be dependent on his mother’s body, born not in a comfortable bed, or even an NHS hospital but in a cold, dirty stable meant for animals.
He had to be a normal child from a poor family, living under the rules of and trusting in his parents, teachers and the Roman Government.
He had to give up knowing everything and being everywhere and had to start to learn what he needed to know, just like you.
He was tempted to do wrong things.
He himself pointed out he was powerless to do miracles, but that that power came from God
Like Clark Kent, he experienced pain, he would have been circumcised as a baby, was so fearful before being crucified that he actually sweated out blood, and then had to suffer beating, flogging and eventual crucifixion.
Superman realised that by becoming fully human he could not save the world. In the real story though, it is the truth that ONLY by becoming fully human could Jesus save the world. ONLY by becoming human could he show us how to be more like God. We won’t all be saved though, in limiting His own power, God gives the ultimate power to us, if we choose to follow His lead He will make us like Jesus, remove the power of death, and raise us to eternal life in heaven, but if we choose not to, there is little he can do.
When you start to open your advent calendar doors on December 1st, remember that the real reward is not the tiny bit of chocolate behind it, but a countdown to the anniversary of the start of the most powerful event on earth, when the all-powerful became the power-less to give true power to any of us lost, vulnerable and needy people who choose it.
There is a hymn that starts
Emptied of His glory, God became a man,
To walk on earth in ridicule and shame.
A Ruler, yet a Servant; a Shepherd, yet a Lamb;
A Man of Sorrows, agony, and pain.
We thank you Lord, that you did all this through your love of us. We pray that we respond by learning each day to walk ever closer with you. Amen