One of my favourite cartoons when I was a kid was Popeye. For the uninitiated, Popeye is a popular cartoon from the 70’s. Popeye is this scrawny, funny-looking sailor who always saves the day and his damsel in distress Olive Oyl (after he downs his can of spinach). As a child, I used to dislike vegetables, and my parents would encourage me to watch Popeye instead of other cartoons to try to coax me to eat more greens. I loved to watch Popeye because he was such a funny and unlikely hero.
As I grew up, I started liking movies with superheroes who often silently save the day without looking any bit like a stereotypical hero in their ‘real’ lives. Spiderman, with its well-known quote, “With great power comes great responsibility”, is one of them. Superman is another, and I love this quote from it: “There is a superhero in all of us. We just need the courage to put on the cape.”
Have you ever wondered if you might have a superpower too? Perhaps, a talent or an interest that always gives you the spark to pursue, persevere and serve with joy? Do you believe that God has given every one of us a unique gift to serve Him and others? Do you know that He has created all of us with a purpose? Have you ever considered how your unique gift and talent can be used for God? What is the ‘superpower’ God has graced you with?
No matter who, where or how we are, we can all be God’s instruments in our everyday lives, like mini superheroes.
Like many of you, I did not think I possessed any significant talents, skills or gifts. I used to sing in church and school when I was younger, and I served with the Girls’ Brigade which was my school CCA (co-curricular activity) in school, and that was about it. I viewed my skill set then more as hobbies, interests or experiences rather than gifts.
The change in my perspective about serving came during my university days when I started serving in church more actively. During that time, my mentors stressed and demonstrated to us the joy of serving in the Lord. They led by example and helped me discover the meaning of serving. At the same time, I was also taught to discover, appreciate and use the gifts that the Lord has given me to serve Him and my community that season. In time to come, my mentors had told us to view ourselves as little “superheroes”—not to inflate our egos or pride, but to learn to humbly appreciate and optimise the gifts that the Lord has given to us that season in life so that we can serve God with godly intentions, pure hearts and excellence in Him.
It did not matter which area we served in. It could be wiping the tables, giving out evangelising tracts, teaching in Sunday school, singing in the choir or folding the bulletins, but each of us “should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” (1 Peter 4:10) At the same time, we were told to use the opportunity to learn and fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ as we serve as His hands and feet united as a Body of Christ.
One of the Bible’s most common descriptions of the Church is the Body of Christ: “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” (Romans 12:4–5) Imagine a jigsaw puzzle. It would not be complete if two out of two hundred pieces were missing. It takes all of us to complete the Body of Christ. Everybody, every part, is needed in the Body of Christ. God does not need us to complete His work but wants to shape us through serving Him and others.
When I served together with my friends, I not only grew closer to the friends I served alongside with; I found myself also walking closer with God and my community.
There are so many needs in our community and in our world that cry out in need of a hero.
In the Methodist social creed, we are told to “commit ourselves to the rights of men, women, children, youth, young adults, the aging, the dying, and those with handicaps; to improvement in the quality of life, and to the rights and dignity of racial, ethnic, and religious minorities.” In other words, we are asked to be God’s hands and feet to those who are vulnerable and marginalised: “Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.” (Isaiah 58:10, NLT)
Where would we take our gifts and talents—our ‘superpowers’— gifted by the Lord to extend His kingdom? It could be in our families, communities, workplaces, schools or even beyond Singapore.
Perhaps the short answer we are looking for to a complex question might be found here in Micah 6:8: “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God”.
How can you, with your superpowers, make a difference in Wesley and beyond today?
Where might God be calling you to share your gifts today? Come create connections and help spread joy in the community with us. To find out where and how you can serve in Wesley and beyond, please go to Serve at Wesley Volunteer Booklet or contact email@example.com
About the Methodist Social Creed
1. We believe in God, Creator of the world; and in Jesus Christ the Redeemer of creation. We believe in the Holy Spirit, through whom we acknowledge God’s gifts, and we repent of our sin in misusing these gifts for personal gain.
2. We affirm the natural world as God’s handiwork and dedicate ourselves to its care, preservation, enhancement, and faithful use by humankind.
3. We joyfully receive for ourselves and others, the blessings of community, sexuality, marriage and the family.
4. We commit ourselves to the rights of men, women, children, youth, young adults, the aging, the dying, and those with handicaps; to improvement in the quality of life, and to the rights and dignity of racial, ethnic, and religious minorities.
5. We believe in the right and duty of persons to work for the good of themselves and others; in the rights of property as a trust from God, collective bargaining, and the cultivation of a simple lifestyle; and in the elimination of economic and social distress.
6. We dedicate ourselves to peace throughout the world, to freedom for all people, and to the rule of justice and law among nations.
7. We believe in the present and final triumph of God in human affairs, and affirm that the world is our parish.
For more information please go to: Our Creeds – The Methodist Church in Singapore