I loved watching Lena Waithe accept her Emmy Award Sunday night with these words: “The things that make us different — those are our superpowers.” You can watch a clip of the episode she wrote with Aziz Ansari here. It’s worth it to watch the whole episode on Netflix.
This week I’ll be in Louisville for a week of meetings at our denominational Mother Ship. Of all the things I love about professional ministry, I admit before you and God that the board meetings I’ll attend will engage in Church Things that make me tired: policies and procedures and budget line items. These are important matters, to be sure. But I find myself asking, “Did Jesus die for this?” If we cannot offer a resounding “Yes!” then maybe we need to rethink our efforts and recognize our own (God given) super powers.
God has given us everything we need.
At the risk of sounding naive and simplistic, we are drenched in super powers by virtue of our baptism, our faith, and our calling. God has got this. And we have been given the responsibility and privilege of serving in God’s name.
Our super powers involve the ability to love our enemies and to rise after dying. The weak become strong and the last become first. We have the super power of being salt and light.
But we forget.
I for one have witnessed these super powers. I’ve watched people like Lena Waithe who’ve suffered for being different, rise up to use their gifts to make the world more beautiful. I have watched People of Color overcome the ugliest of humiliations only to stand up as pillars of integrity in the midst of evil. I have seen people crushed by grief able to face the world again and experience joy.
I believe God grants us these super powers. But we either don’t realize that we have them or we forget. I look forward to focusing on my super powers this week and I hope you will too. (Repeat after me while sitting in your own meetings: Did Jesus die for this? If not, why are you there?)
Image of Lena Waithe, the first black woman to win an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series last weekend.