This is a guest post written by the lovely Cathy and Scott over at Gospel-Centred Parenting, where they write about how the gospel speaks into their lives as they navigate through the world of Christian parenting.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it’s…
That sentence could be finished with any number of superheroes at the moment, as they seem to have taken over the Thomson household. Our 2 ½ year old is obsessed! Somehow, he knows the names of multiple superheroes, without ever having watched any superhero movies or programmes.
Most of us love a good superhero, don’t we? We love the idea of someone superhuman; someone who can come to the rescue when we’re most in need; someone who will battle for justice against the forces of evil.
Sound familiar? We love superheroes because they itch where the world is scratching; they seem to solve the problems that human can’t face on their own. We love superheroes because they tell a story that seems impossible in this world. We love superheroes because superheroes remind us of someone else. They tell a fictional version of the true story of Jesus.
Spiderman, Superman, Batman, Iron Man, Captain America, The Hulk – all of these are regularly on the lips of our little one at the moment. But there’s a certain superhero, or rather a band of superheroes, which has held a special place in his heart for some time now.
The Go Jetters.
You may not be familiar with Go Jetters if you don’t have pre-schoolers, but it’s a CBeebies staple.
The four heroes, Xuli, Kyan, Lars and Foz travel the world with their disco loving teacher and mentor Ubercorn. Each episode they travel to a famous landmark only to find it being “glitched” (changed or damaged in some way) by the evil Grandmaster Glitch. The Go Jetters invariably rescue the landmark and restore it to its former glory (and then take a souvenir selfie to remember the moment!).
It’s superheroes for toddlers, and it very effectively captures the essence of the superhero genre.
We believe that we can use the everyday situations that we face to help us speak to our children about the gospel, and that even applies to a 2 ½ year old watching CBeebies.
You see, much of what is great about Go Jetters is seen even more beautifully in Jesus. Jesus is the true rescuer. He sees the “glorious ruin” – a fallen humanity rather than a glitched landmark. He too is angered and saddened by the brokenness he sees, and he too defeats the enemy – the enemy of sin – to restore us to what we should be: the beautiful image of God.
That’s deep theology – wouldn’t it be wonderful if our children began to grasp these things for themselves? We want to give our children every opportunity to engage with the gospel.
As superhero stories capture our children’s imagination and rouse their yearning for justice, we have the privilege and honour of showing them this doesn’t need to end in fantasy and the imagination. There’s a true story that these other stories point to – one that, when our children see it, is far more exciting. It’s a story that they are caught up in, one where the superhero can be their rescuer too.
Does your child like superheroes?
How can you help them to see echoes of the gospel in the story they love?
About Scott and Cathy: Scott’s a mobile Optometrist, testing in care homes around the North East of England. Cathy’s a stay-at-home mum to our boisterous, energetic and affectionate toddler, Reuben and their much-kissed and very cuddly little baby, Boaz.