Take Off That Red Cape!

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Clark Kent, that mild-mannered reporter for the Daily Planet, was quite a man. He could do all the things Superman could do (because that’s who he really was), but didn’t do anything unless he was wearing his big “S” and long red cape.

Wonder what the deal was. I mean, when he learned of trouble, especially if Lois was involved, he’d find a closet or phone booth, take off his glasses, remove his suit, and voila! He’s Superman!

But why couldn’t he fly, hit people, lift buildings, and dazzle Lois while wearing his “reporter” clothes? He was the same guy, he just looked different. Was it that people wouldn’t receive his help if he didn’t look like a superhero? Would people say, “who does he think he is? Why, we know his parents and they aren’t anything special!”

I don’t really know, but maybe it had something to do with public perception and expectations. Everyone had their idea of how a superhero should look, dress, talk and act. Maybe the adoration and praise from his adoring fans helped give him the super powers he demonstrated. And maybe, just maybe, he longed for the worship of others; he needed the worship and praise of others to help him get through life.

Pastoring, preaching, ministering is usually non-eventful. Most preachers DO NOT ” ring the bell” with every message they preach! Most weeks, even the busy ones, can be mundane and repetitious. Make phone calls, hospital calls, study, pray, visit Sister Ima Complainer and Brother Noah Good, mow the lawn, clean the church…week in and week out. So tempting to look for something, anything, that will put some “wow” into the ministry and get a larger audience (I mean, adherents). Never mind that the work they’re doing IS making a difference; no, they want others to know how super they really are.

Have you noticed how the churches in America are so competitive? Who are they competing with? Their brothers and sisters in Christ. For what? More people. Sound like a great thing? Keep in mind most “church growth” is really saints moving from church to church. Why do most move? They’re looking for the guy in the red cape that can put on the best show in town!

I suppose that’s a natural thing, eh? But the Apostle Paul didn’t think it was a commendable trait to act “naturally” or “carnally” (1 Cor. 3). He told the Corinthians to quit putting one person above the other and, instead, look to Christ. He said believers should be “spiritual” people.

Regardless whether or not people expect to see me in a red cape, I must remember who I am with or without the cape. God didn’t call and anoint me to put on a show, win people’s approval, sell the most tickets, or even leap tall buildings in a single bound. Now, He may have me do it now and then; but you can be assured He won’t have me changing in a phone booth before I do! He won’t have me pasting on a special smile for the cameras, practicing my “anointed gyrations”, or anything else just to make the next “show” more exciting than the last.

I am who I am in Him. And He made you who you are in Him! He is our strength and power. He’s all we need! So take off the red cape and comb your hair! Get rid of the cute little curl; that one that makes you look like that certain super guy.

Maybe when the American church decides to quit idolizing the ministers, and the ministers stop seeking and feeding on the praise and worship of the people, God will really "put on a show" that will change lives for eternity!

May we see Him demonstrate His speed, power, and ability…amen.