United Presbyterian Church of West Orange

"Super Heroes"

Rev. Rebecca Migliore
June 18, 2017

(Words to our Confirmation Class 2017

—Cory, Shawn, and Gywynne)



       Today is a very special day—the day you become adult members of the church.  What does that mean?  It means that today you find out you are super heroes!  That is what I thought when I read our gospel reading for today—here were common, ordinary people sent out to do incredible things in Jesus’ name:  Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons.  No problem.  And now You are given the same instructions!

       And this is where I thought Super Heroes could help us.  What do we know about Super Heroes?  Well, they have a secret: they have super powers.  And I am here to tell you that so do you. 

You see, we believe that God has our back, and we know we are loved no matter what, and we are told to go out and do impossible things!  Today I charge you to look for your super power.  It may be to make someone smile, to feed the hungry, to make beautiful music, to help tell the story of God’s love, to be passionate about justice. 

As far back as the earliest Christians there was a sign that was used to mark this secret—the sign of the fish.  ICHTHUS in Greek.  For them it stood for Jesus Christ and his love.  (I’ll return to the fish in a few moments). 


What else do we know about Super Heroes?  They have a costume!  It could be a cape, a belt, a mask—something that declares who they are.  You look at them and you immediately know who they are.  And that is one reason why Christians wear the cross.  It identifies us.  We are the people who are not afraid of the big bad world and what it thinks is power.  We follow a God who takes the worst (death) and turns it upside-down (resurrection!).  So we have a present for each of you, a cross, so you may remember this day and this community who loves you.

This cross is special—it not only is a cross, but contains the symbol of a fish within it.  You truly have joined a line of people that stretches back thousands of years.


But there is one more thing about Super Heroes that we can’t forget: Super Heroes don’t have their super powers just for themselves.  They are there to help others.  And often they find that their greatest work is done in the company of other super heroes. 


       What is what we pray for you. 

We pray that you will find and cultivate your own super powers.

We promise to be right beside you as you do your super hero work. 

And we celebrate this day, where you take an important step on the lifelong journey with God.


May it be so, Alleluia, Amen.