Friday, May 09, 2008

A Mother's Day Lesson from Spider-Man

Spider-Man is a marvel comic fictional superhero that was created by writer, Stan Lee, and artist, Steve Ditko. The famed web spinner first appeared in a comic book anthology series called Amazing Fantasy in August of 1962 and became Marvel Comic’s first commercially successful superhero.

Spider Man actually pioneered new territory in the realm of comic books. In the 1960’s, teenage roles in comics had been relegated to that of being a side-kick to the more important main characters. The Spider-Man series broke ground by featuring Peter Parker, a teenage high school student, whose self-obsessions with rejection, inadequacy, and loneliness were easily related to by young readers.

Marvel comics have featured Spider-Man in several comic book series, the first entitled The Amazing Spider-Man. Over the years, the Peter Parker character has developed from a shy high school student to a troubled college student to a married teacher and a member of the super hero team, The New Avengers.

On May 3, 2002, Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group released the hit motion picture Spider Man. This 2 hour and 1 minute long motion picture, rated PG-13 for stylized violence and action, was filmed in New York, NY; Los Angeles, CA; and Culver City, CA and grossed over 400 million dollars in the U.S. box office alone.

The story line for the original hit movie was that of Peter Parker who was orphaned at an early age and lived in Queens, New York with his beloved Aunt May and Uncle Ben. In the movie, Peter leads the life of a normal student, working as a photographer at the school paper, pining after the beautiful Mary Jane Watson and hanging out with buddy Harry Osborn. On a school trip, during which Peter and his classmates are given a science demonstration on arachnids, Peter is bitten by a genetically-altered spider. Soon after, he discovers that he has unusual powers: he is endowed with the strength and agility of a spider along with a keen, ESP-like "spider-sense."

Peter first uses his powers to make money, but in the face of a tragedy that hits close to home, he vows to dedicate his life to fighting crime. This life-changing, and ultimately world-altering decision is made due to Peter’s taking to heart the words of his beloved Uncle Ben who told him, "With great power comes great responsibility."

Those words from Uncle Ben to his nephew are exactly the overall summary and theme of Proverbs 31:1-9 which we will study this Sunday here at Grace Church as we kick off our Super Heroe’s message series. In these verses, the mother of King Lemuel will give her son motherly advice as he takes the throne of authority and power. Through two warnings and a wish she will basically say to young Lemuel what Uncle Ben said to young Peter, “With great power comes great responsibility!” Be sure to join us on Mother’s Day at Grace as we study this passage of Scripture filled with motherly advice!

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