Scripture: Matthew 25:31–46
Pick one or more people in your community who have been heroes in some way and show them your love and support.
- Send them a gift basket. Find out what makes them smile and fill a gift basket with those things. Example: nail care basket, luxury bath basket, BBQ lovers’ basket. Put a note or letter in the basket letting them know how much you appreciate what they have done to make a difference in someone’s life.
- Create a photo collage that depicts the person as a “Hometown Hero.” Frame it leaving a thick white border. Invite those whose life they have impacted to write thank you notes on the border. Present the photos at a special dinner, lunch, or women’s ministry meeting.
- Write an article telling how the hero made a difference to the community and submit it to the local newspaper.
- Set up a date night for them and their significant other.
- Invite them to come and share something they enjoy doing.
- Invite them to join the group for an outing at a local attraction.
Take time to get to know this individual. Learn what you might do to make a difference in their life. Be sure to include their family who is supporting them.
Hometown Hero Party
Set your meeting room for a “Hometown Hero” party. Choose colors they like or that represent them, along with decorations that represent how or why you see them as a hero. For example; if you are honoring a soldier, you could use camouflage colors, flags, a map of the places they have served, and/or medals. If the hero is a teacher, use primary colors and have a student’s report card, a giant pencil or a school mascot. Research who you are celebrating so that you can make it personal. Know your subject.
Spiderman, Batman, Superman are well known super heroes. People have been reading or watching their stories since the 1930s. Children in many countries pretend to be them, as they save the day with their chosen superhero’s unique ability. Their images appear on shirts, cups, key chains and toys. There is no doubt that these superheroes are idolized for what they can do. They have qualities to admire—facing fears, overcoming challenges and helping others. However, these characters are just that—characters. They are make believe, not real. They have the advantage of possessing supper human abilities. Spiderman is known for his quick reflexes, which allow him to sense danger ahead of time, giving him more time to react. Superman is from another planet. Earth’s yellow sun gives him several abilities such as flight and laser vision. Batman, though he has no superhuman abilities, seems to have an endless amount of money and resources that help him to create his amazing gadgets, like the suit that protects him from almost anything the bad guys throw at him. Each has an edge above the rest—something that is not available to us.
However, heroes are not limited to those we see in the comics. A hero can be defined as a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. Heroes are the people who, by nature, help others live a better life. They are the soldiers who protect our freedom. They are the firefighters who put their lives on the line to protect ours. They are the police officers who make it their mission to protect and serve our community. The medical staff who not only work to cure our bodies but also to bring our minds peace. They are the teachers who go above and beyond to ensure that the struggling student is successful. They are the people who, despite the risk, kept needed supplies moving during the COVID shutdown.
These people, these real-life heroes, are rarely celebrated in the same or equal manner as the superheroes we see in the movies and comics. However, these real heroes are much more important. These are people that God has placed in our lives to inspire, protect, provide, comfort and encourage us. These people are one way that God shows His love for us.
There are countless scriptures that talk about how we should treat each other and how we should respond to how others treat us. Matthew 25:45 says, “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of Mine, you did for Me.” Whatever we do for others, good or bad, we do for God. When we neglect, mistreat or ignore someone, God feels that. When we remember, are kind, or include someone, God feels that too. We honor God when we treat others the way He wants to see us treated.
There are many in our community who need of a variety of things. Everyone needs something. Whether that something is big or small, we all have a need. God designed us to live in community and support each other to fulfill that need (1 Cor. 12:25-27).
Our real-life heroes pour themselves into the work they do for others. They act as the hands of God and need our support. They need to know that what they are doing makes a difference and that we appreciate what they have done. Showing honor and appreciation to those He has placed in our lives is a wonderful way to show God that we love Him.
- When was the last time you went out of your way to express appreciation to someone for the difference they are making in the lives of others?
- How has someone made a difference in your life?
- Who in your life inspires you to be a better person?
- Who in your community would you like to honor or show appreciation?
- Why do you think the Bible tells many stories and has many commands about how we should behave toward each other? See the following scriptures for examples: Proverbs 16:28, 1 Timothy 4:12, 1 Corinthians 10:31, Luke 6:31, Ephesians 4:29-32, Ephesians 4:29-32, Romans 12:10, Proverbs 24:17, Philippians 2:4, 1 Corinthians 13:4-13.