All Saints or All Sinners - St Bride's: Reflection

St Bride's: Sermons

All Saints or All Sinners

superman.jpgreeve.jpgLast month Superman died. Christopher Reeve, the actor who shot to stardom through his starring role in the superman films, died after nine years of paralysis as a result of a riding accident. Ironically in many people’s eyes his status as superhero was fully confirmed not by his films, but by the amazing way he coped with disability and refused to let it defeat him, by his courage and good humour and tireless campaigning for developments in medical research. He died a true, not just a celluloid, hero.

The Christian Church has a long tradition of honouring the saints, those who pointed to Christ by their lives and words and who sometimes endured great hardship and suffering because of their faith. They can often appear to be cardboard figures, remote from the lives and concerns of people today. I don’t know whether Christopher Reeve had a strong personal faith, but he showed a depth of character and spirit that certainly gives him a heroic if not a saintly quality.

He refused to become embittered by his disability and instead used it to campaign for more research into spinal injuries. He remains an inspiration, not because he did extraordinary things as Superman, but because he did ordinary things extraordinarily as himself.

Because of that he helps us understand what it really means to be a saint as well as a modern day hero.

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