Superheroes

“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”             Exodus 14:14

Godzilla & UltramanIn 1954, Godzilla emerged ferociously from the depths of the ocean, paving the way for other monsters, known as “kaijū” (怪獣), who seemed to be oddly obsessed with destroying downtown Tokyo. Pronounced in Japanese as “Gojira,” this famous cinematic creature actually gets his name from combining the Japanese words for gorilla (gorira) and whale (kujira), representing his unique size, power and aquatic origin. Following in the path of Godzilla, other kaijū have routinely made their way to the shores of Japan to wreak havoc as well.

To combat these monsters, super villains, and aliens bent on mass destruction, a steady stream of superheroes was invented to rescue the terrorized masses in Japan. In so doing, a whole new entertainment industry came into being creating hordes of fans worldwide. Millions of plastic toys representing both good guy and bad guy genres, were also sold with several populating our own toy box. Ultraman and his pals, known as the Ultra Crusaders, were among the first in a long line of superheroes called upon to save Earth, making their first appearance in 1966. Each Ultra Crusader possessed specific super powers used to protect the planet and fight the perpetrators of evil. However, these particular superheroes had their limitations as they could only stay on Earth for a few minutes before their solar powered energy was used up, forcing them to return to space to recharge.

The Ultra Crusaders were later assisted in this never ending task by a series of other superheroes such as the Power Rangers (known initially as the “Super Sentai”), Sailor Moon and her teenage girl gang, Transformer action figures, and the Kamen Riders, who had insect-like heads and battled the bad guys from motorcycles. Astro Boy, a powerful android with human emotions in the shape of a boy, actually outdates them all as he initially got his start as a comic book hero in 1952. Astro Boy is now remembered not just for his impeccable resume in fighting evil, but he is also credited for launching the huge anime and manga industry that exists today.

Even in a world without such fanciful monsters, it is not uncommon to look for a hero of some sort to save us from whatever crisis we may be currently facing. Like the terrorized masses of Tokyo fleeing the path of the latest kaijū bent on destruction, we realize we are helpless to solve our problems or achieve security without the assistance of Someone greater than ourselves. We need a superhero. We need someone who will fight for us. Similar to the panic stricken Israelites who were trapped between the Red Sea and the army of Pharaoh seeking their destruction, we cry out for someone to intervene on our behalf. However, such help does not come in the form of a fictional superhero who must pause to recharge his batteries or deal with other limitations. Instead, we have the Almighty God, the Maker Heaven and Earth, fighting on our behalf and victory is already assured. The only required response from us is “to be still” and trust Him.

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