Modified on: February 6, 2021

I received an anonymous letter. When I opened it, I laughed out loud.

A sermon had been purchased at our annual auction in November, and the benefactor, who wished to remain anonymous, had written to request that I offer a sermon on “Superheroes”. They wrote: “I would be delighted to hear you speak on this topic. I have no further instruction or expectations, other than: please enjoy.”

I take that as an invitation for us all to have some fun. And the timing could not be more perfect. We need some joy, and we are surrounded by superheroes.

Rather than one sermon, we will dedicate this whole month to the theme of Superheroes. We will celebrate the successes of our congregation as a team, all year long. We will honor the beings of light and power who help us every day, essential workers on farmers, in streets, and in hospitals. We will gaze into the sun in celebration of the Solstice. And we will revel in the legends of our favorite superheroes.

Of course, you can see where this is headed: we can all be superheroes. But how do we become one?

And so, in honor of summer vacation after a long school year, I’d like to give you some homework:

  • Pull out your old comic books from the attic, your beloved tomes of ancient sagas, your favorite movies—from childhood or from today, alone or with someone you love, enjoy again the stories of your favorite superheroes. I am asking you to indulge.
  • Think of those people in your life who are, truly in your estimation, superheroes—and thank them. Call, write, project a signal in the night sky—just tell them thank you.
  • And check this out: The enneagram is one of many personality inventories, but it has the advantage of helping us understand the forces that shaped us, the personalities we have developed in response, the powers that those personalities we have created hold—and how we can connect with the gifts of others to work better and better as a team. There are many resources out there, but this is one of the best, reliable and clear, with good steps on how to actualize the very best in ourselves.

The answer is obvious: you are a superhero. Yes, you are. But how to become who we really are?

“I’ve learned everyone has power. It’s not indestructibility or flying or superspeed—it’s that fire in your soul that pushes you to touch the sky. Stepping up for those that need hope…leads you to the greatest heights, and there, we all soar higher, further, faster.” (Captain Marvel, quoted at the Celebration of Life service for real-life superhero and UUCS member Barbara Mattson:

This will be fun—


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