Women are super examples of Christianity

By Mark McDonald

Okay, I have a confession to make.

I grew up a huge fan of Batman. One of my earliest memories with money was saving for a metal Batmobile with the Batboat on a trailer. (How cool would it be to pull that to Greers Ferry on one of our day trips?!) I watched the Justice League and loved superheroes, but honestly focused all my attention on the Bat.

As I grew up and became a minister, I discovered the power of the superhero in storytelling. Then, I took a class in seminary from a professor who consulted with Hollywood movies that wanted to build their storyline on the Christ story. Yes, you read that right. Hollywood pays people to help them make their movies reflect the hero storyline, but specifically the story of Christ. I began to notice dozens of movies when the hero reached a moment of truth and stretched out his arms — like Christ’s arms outstretched on the cross at his crucifixion. Then, the hero found some strength deep within and came back to overpower his evil adversary. It is a theme that shows up in many movies, from superhero movies like “Superman,” science fiction movies like “The Matrix,” unexpected movies like “The Green Mile,” and a host of other movies.

Then, in 2017, I watched the then new Wonder Woman movie, and I saw something that displaced Batman as my favorite superhero. Wonder Woman was the Christ figure in that movie!

I know that someone may find this uncomfortable. Jesus was a man, so how could a woman be a Christ figure?

Well, friends, think about the women in life who have taught you about Christ. Mothers, grandmothers, teachers, attorneys, physicians, homemakers, business owners … who do you think of? My father was a pastor and taught me a great deal about what it means to be a Christian. He not only taught, preached, and led a church, but he also lived a faithful life, standing for justice, righteousness and truth during some tough times of our nation. My mother, who was not a pastor, taught me more than I can remember about the scriptures (she loved the Hebrew scriptures), love, patience and all the values that Christ taught were behind the actions we are called to do.

And my mother was not the only example. One of my Sunday School teachers was one of the most powerful examples of Christ I knew. And classmates. And strangers.

This month, as 501 LIFE celebrates “501-Der Women” (pun intended), I hope you see the power in realizing that we are all examples of our faith. We represent the best of our faith traditions, and we finally seem to understand that it’s not limited to one gender. We ALL have the chance to be a superhero and save the world. While the world seems to have many struggles, I hope you can join me in showing appreciation and respect for every person who becomes a hero, no matter what they look like, where they come from or what they do for a living!

Mark McDonald