Friday, September 28, 2018

How To Be a Celebrity

* Note: I wasn't able to do a new scene of The Quest for the King this week, invested as I am in the revision and re-issue of my Hidden Kings Trilogy, among other things. So in lieu of that, here's a new piece that I wrote for a devotional column in my local newspaper.

Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to be a celebrity? Most of us, I think, have dallied with that fancy at some point, imagining what our lives might look like if we were rock stars, movie stars, or all-star athletes. Everyone has a desire to be recognized and appreciated.

Most of us also know, however, that the actual lives of celebrities are probably not as glamorous as they are portrayed to be. The stresses of living in the unforgiving public eye and of keeping up with the pressures and daily decision-making of fame and fortune appear to wear heavily on them. It may in fact be a blessing to not have to bear the burden of being a celebrity in our particular society.

Did you know, though, that there’s a way of being a celebrity that carries with it none of the stress, exhaustion, and disenchantment that so often accompanies the lifestyles of our public idols? The etymology of the word “celebrity” suggests that it refers to “someone who is celebrated.” There’s a verse in the Bible that describes a reality in which we—you and me—are the objects of celebration. It comes in Luke 15:10, where Jesus says, “There is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” 

Essentially, this means that when we simply say “yes” to the offer of unending grace in Jesus Christ, there is a celebration that breaks out in heaven because of us. In fact, the Bible says in many different places that you are indeed a “celebrity” in God’s eyes—you are accorded the highest imaginable status simply for being who you are: made in the image of God, the object of God’s thoughts and joy and love. The great 20th-century pastor and writer A. W. Tozer once noted that we often give too much thought on how happy we will be when we finally reach the bliss of heaven; what we should give equal attention to, says Tozer, is God’s joy in having us there. The God of the universe delights in you; he thinks about you; and he longs for you to come to him. And when you respond to the outstretched offer of his love, there is such a party in the courts of the living God that it would put all the fêtes and bashes of Hollywood to shame. It is a far greater thing to be celebrated by the Maker of all things than to be noticed by the passing fancies of this world. So come to Christ, and be the celebrity you were born to be.