Last fall, Jim Carrey received the Charlie Chaplin Award for Excellence in Comedy. In his acceptance speech, Carrey payed homage to Chaplin who he characterized as a hero of his. In his words:
[Chaplin] grew up in extreme poverty. His father was absent. His mother went into an asylum when he was 14 years old. That kind of pain turns some people into monsters. And others into fountains of creativity. Chaplin alchemized his pain. Turned it into art. Exquisite, timeless, healing art.
Carrey praised Chaplin as one of his heroes and in doing so explained that heroes “are people who remind us of our virtues.”
For all the times that I have heard the word hero used, in my view, this was the clearest and best explanation. Moreover, in a religion like ours in which we are encouraged to live into our virtues and values to help shape the world we live in, it struck me as a critical invitation for each of us. Who are the people who remind me – by the way in which they live – of my own virtues?
For that reason, this summer our July and August worship series will invite members to name a hero and the virtue of which that life reminds them. Each of these reflections will be paired with a message from one of our ministers.