I came across a clip of Queen on Live Aid on Facebook today. Having recently seen the Queen film, Bohemian Rhapsody, which eclipses at that moment, I watched it – again.
It is such an amazing, iconic moment of the 20th Century. It is spine-tingling. The film is such a great celebration of a huge talented, yet tragic, figure.
As I was watching it got me thinking about modern day heroes. Our heroes for the last 50 years, for the most-part, are TV, Film and music celebrities. There are also sports heroes and we also celebrate some amazing heroic physical or even scientific achievements. But, the majority are those most easy to access – music, TV or film.
I recall my father, who was a teenager during the second world war, talking about a famous wartime fighter pilot. He was at the theater and there was an announcement that some fighter ace (I can’t remember his name) was in the house. He stood up and the whole audience gave him a standing ovation. The heroes of my father’s day were very different to ours.
So, why is this so important?
We want to be like our heroes. How many young people want to be famous? How many adopt the traits of those they worship? Not just the way they dress, but the way they walk, talk and behave. Most of the famous people we now celebrate are well-known because they perform well. They do not tend to be famous due to the quality of their character. It is no wonder that over those 50 years society as a whole has become so confused about identity and values.
We do need to celebrate great achievement. But we also need to recognize where this has lead us to.
So, how does the modern day church respond. We tend to condemn what we see as the breakdown in society and, if we are not careful, become insular and judgmental. It does not win hearts and minds. It also does not represent Jesus as He is.
We need to promote Jesus to be our very best hero. We can also celebrate heroes of the faith as we read in Hebrews. We don’t have to limit that to people in the bible for there are many in this day and age who have shown great courage in following Jesus. But if we can focus on bringing out who Jesus really is, what He is really like and work at being more like Him by spending more time with Him, then the world will see a greater alternative to that which is seen in society.
Modern day heroes have lead to a modern day crisis of identity. This is seen in so many ways. I don’t have time to go into it but I know we could each come up with a huge list of problems that are routed in lost people living with very little hope.
We, as the church, need to bring back hope to the world. That hope has a name, Jesus. He is the best hero there ever was.