Since 1970, San Diego has been home to a Comic Book convention that has grown to international renown and is patronized by over 100,000 people per year. This is where your comic book aficionados, sci-fi fans, and the like congregate to celebrate imaginary heroes from the entertainment world. From Spider Man to Spock, these fictional characters are honored by attendees who dress, act, and talk like them. It matters little if the patrons are 5’6″ and 300 pounds. It’s a place and time to pretend.
This year, three stuntmen promoting an upcoming movie heard the screams of onlookers as a drunk, jilted woman had climbed outside the railing of the balcony of her fourteenth story apartment. In her inebriated, distraught state, she intended to take her life. The stuntmen sprang into action, scaling a fence and then racing up to her apartment, before stealthily racing out to stop her from what seemed to be an imminent jump. They had been trained for lifesaving operations, but they typically used those skills for entertaining moviegoers (via http://www.abcnews.com).
When I heard about this, I thought about the wonderful opportunities you and I have, week after week, to assemble and study God’s Word together. Added to that, hopefully, is daily time spent by each of us in the Bible in personal devotion. While this time and effort is meant to spiritually strengthen and protect us, it is also training for the work we have to do as Christians. If we are not intentional, however, we can find ourselves in some ways resembling New Testament Christians without doing the heroic things they did. Or, we can undergo that continuous spiritual training without putting it into practical use to save those who relatively soon will head into eternity. God needs us mustering the courage and conviction to put what we know into practice in order to save those in desperate need of rescue. What will we do this week to reach out and help someone in need of Jesus? Doing nothing, as a matter of practice, makes us, at best, pretenders. Seeking to save the lost makes us heroes on an unparalleled magnitude! May we so strive.