The other night in the midst of our bedtime routine my son asked a simple, yet profound theological question. Now, perhaps he already has my wife and I figured out, calling for mama to “cuddle me, five minutes” and calling me to ask theological question (with some cuddling too).

The question:

How does Jesus make spider-man costumes?

But what better for bed time conversation with a three-year-old than a brief, yet deep conversation on the doctrine of vocation. Obviously it wasn’t in academic language but instead in the language of a three-year-old, super-hero obsessed boy. We began by looking at his spider-man costume, which he conveniently had half on, despite it being bed time.

I pointed out the fabric, the colors, and the design, “Somebody had to make this. A worker had to put the lines on the costume, to sew it, and cut out the eyes.”

Upon mentioning the eyes on his mask, he got excited and immediately demonstrated how the eyes had to be cut out by carefully mimicking scissors with his hands in the eye holes. He also did that thing toddlers do; he started talking so fast the words couldn’t come out as quickly his little mind could think. Eventually when his words did catch up, he explained to me the detail of the black web lines and what he referred to as the sticker (the spider logo). Somebody had to put that all on the costume.

Then he asked, “Daddy, how did Jesus get me the spider-man?”

Another simple question that I probably made much deeper than he cared. But it gave him some extra time before bed, so he went along with my lesson.

“We got it at a store,” I replied. He got super excited since he is very familiar with the stores his mama brings him to.

He responded, “A store?!?”

“Yep, a store. Jesus used the workers…”

He interrupted me, “Workers?!”

“Yes, workers. Jesus used the workers and the store. And Jesus gave Daddy a job so we could buy the costume.”

He knows exactly how buying things worked, so he excitedly began to explain to me how we would have bought the costume, “We give the workers the costume and the money, and we buy it”

Perhaps this seems simplistic and obvious, but it’s significant.

We Have a Costume-Making God

Jesus is in the costume business. Jesus is at work making spider-man costumes to serve my three-year old, super-hero obsessed son. As my son runs around the house fulfilling his call to protect his baby sister from the villains, he has been served by the employees of Target who sold us the costume, the costume designers who sewed, cut, and printed the costume, and of course his mom and dad who spent their hard earned money to buy him a costume.

How does Jesus make spider-man costumes?

Through ordinary people doing their work. Through target employees, through moms and dads, and through costume designers. And what does Jesus do with spider-man costumes? He makes little boys and little girls excited to use their God-given imaginations to play. And he uses them to give moms and dads the joy of seeing a face light up with excitement. And he uses them to spark little conversations at bed time about the way God works in our world.

To the costume-designers in our world, thank you for what you do and the way you have served me and my family. And don’t forget:

“With great power comes great responsibility.”