Every Story Needs A Hero

 

Photo by Lyle Aspinall (Sun News)

Photo by Lyle Aspinall (Sun News)

We love stories about heroes, larger than life men or women who do great things against great odds. Heroes are featured on the evening news often for days or weeks. Their stories inspire us and often become defining moments in our lives.

The fireman rescuing the elderly lady is Shawne Wiebe from Nanton,  Alberta.

You’ve probably never heard of Shawne or Nanton & the lady remains nameless. Yet this image went viral. Shawne became the ‘poster boy’ for thousands of everyday heroes in our community.

 

In June 2013 our area was devastated by the Alberta Floods.  Unnamed men, women & children from close by & far away  came to aid in the cycle of  rescue, recovery, repair, rebuilding & restoration. They  gave of their time, strength & resources to shovel mud, clean up basements, get rid of mountains of trash. They  provided food, water & shelter. They opened up their homes &  hearts to total strangers. The most important gift they gave was their  comfort & their presence.

Relationships formed during those dark days continue to thrive. Even in the busy days prior to Christmas  news stories continue to document  compassion & assistance for those lives devastated  by the disaster. It defines who we are & what we are becoming.

Tidings of Comfort & Joy

The lady in the picture made a comment that it had been a long time since she had been swept off her feet by a handsome young man. Good job, Shawne!

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen was first published in 1833 when it appeared in “Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern,” a collection of seasonal carols gathered by William B. Sandys. The lyrics of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen are traditional olde English and are reputed to date back to the 15th century although the author is unknown.

It is believed that this particular carol was sung to the gentry by town watchmen who earned additional money during the Christmas season. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen continues to be enjoyed. The lyrics to this simple carol are reputed to be one of the oldest carols.

Anonymous  workmen bringing the good news of Immanuel to others.  Everyday Heroes!

Still Others

Hebrews 11 is a chapter that teaches us powerfully about faith and  everyday heroes. For thirty-five verses (I like to count things) we read about the big names &  the unknown names who were heroes.  They walked by faith sometimes for years & saw God act in many ways.

Then we come to verse thirty-six of Hebrews 11.  It begins with still others.

Still others were tortured, beaten, chained, mocked, imprisoned , died by stoning. Some were sawed in half. Some went around wearing animal skins , were destitute, oppressed & mistreated.

These all earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised.

They were those of whom the world was not worthy (vs 38).  They were everyday heroes.  They walked in faith & trust in perilous times.

Joseph was one of the still others.

Joseph

Joseph was a good man. He was engaged (betrothed) to a young girl called Mary. In those days betrothal was as legally binding as marriage. The only way to break a betrothal was divorce. Mary was pregnant with a wild story of the baby being  conceived by the Holy Spirit. Jewish law stated that she should have been stoned to death. Joseph being a good man didn’t report her & didn’t want to disgrace her publicly. He decided to break the engagement quietly, to divorce her.

Joseph heard God.

Mary & Zechariah both had visits & conversations with angels. The Wise Men followed a new Star. The Shepherds saw myriads of angels & the radiance of the Glory of God.

Joseph just had dreams.

In the first dream he was told to not be afraid to take Mary as his wife. The child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. The angel in the dream repeated the information real angels had communicated to Mary.

In my opinion an angelic visitation outweighs a dream about an angel hundred times over. Was the dream just a reflection of what Joseph wanted to believe? In his hurt & devastation had his subconscious just made it up?

Scriptures tell us that there were at least two other dreams giving Joseph specific instructions. In each case Joseph obeyed.

The wise men who brought amazing gifts had just left to return to their own countries. Tradition and astronomy indicates that these events were up to two years after the birth of Jesus. Mary and Joseph had probably settled down in Bethlehem. Maybe Joseph had opened another carpenter shop. They were far away from the wagging tongues and rumors about an illegitimate child.

Joseph had another dream.  “Pack up, leave your country; your culture and go to Egypt” said the angel in the dream.  What was his response? Instant obedience! I would love to have heard the conversation between Joseph and Mary as they packed up, leaving their home, friends and community once again. Their destination, Egypt was definitely not on the Jewish favorite places list.  And yet off they went.

This time there was no emotion driving the response to the dream. In fact it was probably more difficult to respond this time because there wasn’t an immediate crisis.

Joseph is a hero.

  • He had  faith.
  • He obeyed.
  • He led his family.
  • He took  responsibility
  • He died before Jesus triumphed over the Enemy on the Cross
  • He never saw the fulfillment of the Promise.

Heroes are heroes

  •  They act instinctively
  • They act quickly
  • They have hearts that trust
  • They don’t debate the issues.
  • They hear God
  • Like Abraham they believe God
  • It  is credited to them as righteousness

Joseph was  a hero. Because  he believed that an  Angel spoke  to him  all of history, all of Eternity was changed forever.

The purposes of the Father established before the foundation of the earth are kept in motion by heroes of faith;

Ordinary people like Shawne Wiebe ; ordinary people like you & are  God’s  Everyday Heroes

 

Response

  • Who has been your  Everyday Hero ?
  • How do you bring  comfort & joy to your world ?
  • What are your Still Other moments?

Prayer: 

Father

  • Thank you for the Everyday Heroes in my life
  • Thank you that I am one of the still others.
  • Help me to discern your voice
  • Inspire me to obey in the ordinary  days of  life
  • May I walk in simple trust
  • Father, I believe you

Everyday Heroes Raise Me Up

 

 

 

 

 

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