In today’s lectionary (Common Worship and the Book of Common Prayer Thurs Aug 13 2020 at time of writing), one of the Saints celebrated on this day, happens to be Nurse Nightingale. When I first learnt about her way back in school, almost another lifetime away, I remember wishing I could achieve as much as she did. I remember learning about the dreadful Crimean War and the conditions that people where surviving in (or rather not at the time). Learning of the impact her reforms had, not just then, but so many years to come afterwards.
She was, in her way, one of my many childhood heroes alongside the astronauts, Captain Scott and all of the other Antarctic adventures and a few others that I have since forgotten.
In many ways, we often fall short of our heroes because we place them on a pedestal so high that we make it virtually impossible for us to emulate them. Of course, events in our lives often transpire in such a way as to take us in different directions, and sometimes it doesn’t.
The danger with placing our heroes on pedestals is that we put them out of reach, and we do that by ourselves, nobody else does it for us. We sometimes allow others to create the pedestals for us, but we are the ones who chose to use them.
But there is one person, our Saviour Jesus Christ, who is not out of reach on a pedestal. He is on a throne in Heaven and rather than being far from accessible He is listening to us all, interceding on our behalf, loving us, and encouraging us. He welcomes us with open arms and a warm heart, comforting us in our troubles and celebrating with us in success. Jesus is within every single one of us, all we have to do is accept His love for us, and He will reside within our hearts forever.
Christ is not a hero out of reach on a pedestal of our own making, He is right beside us every day of our mortal lives, and every day of our immortal lives when He comes again to call upon us.
Jesus is more than a hero.
He is everything.
21 Do you not know?Isaiah 40:21-26
Have you not heard?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
Have you not understood since the earth was founded?
22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth,
and its people are like grasshoppers.
He stretches out the heavens like a canopy,
and spreads them out like a tent to live in.
23 He brings princes to naught
and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.
24 No sooner are they planted,
no sooner are they sown,
no sooner do they take root in the ground,
than he blows on them and they wither,
and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.
25 “To whom will you compare me?
Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one
and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing.
I used to want to be more like my heroes.
Instead, I share my life with Jesus,
and the weird thing is,
it’s a whole new level of complexity doing that, and yet so much simpler at the same time!
God bless us all.