We gathered in the “common room” on a rainy Friday night- a perfect opportunity to stay in and watch a movie. There were a lot of us (and you can’t expect a large group of friends to sit quietly), so our conversation quickly drowned out the film. We found ourselves chatting and laughing about a number of things, but we managed to arrive at the topic of “famous people” we had each encountered in our lives. It didn’t matter what kind; athletes, movie stars, musical artists; as long as they seemed “important,” they were fair game to mention. We advertised our experiences and sightings- trying to “one up” each other with every story. One friend would say, “I didn’t see them personally, but I know someone who met (fill in the blank)…” As the conversation continued, another would add, “well, I saw (fill in the blank) once, and they talked to me!” One would chime in and add, “I got an autograph from (fill in the blank)...” and someone else would say, “well, I met (fill in the blank) and even got a picture with them!” Isn’t it funny how infatuated we get with the concept of fame? We long to be associated with it. Oh, the thrill of rubbing shoulders with greatness!
What about you? Ever crossed paths with a "star?" We adore the concept of celebrity, and we flaunt our encounters like they belong in history books. Maybe you snatched a fly ball from your favorite baseball player. Maybe a well-known musician happen to point in your general direction at a concert (or even slap your hand in the crowd). Perhaps you managed to catch a movie star in the act of doing something fascinating; like buying a hot dog or walking down the street (who knew that movies stars were real people)!?
What happens when we bear witness to the rich and famous in the flesh? We stop and stand at attention as everything around us seems to fall away. We don’t quite know what to do with ourselves. Some of us look around for affirmation (just to make sure we’re not crazy); we locate another person who might be pointing or nodding or asking for an autograph. Put yourself in the moment- with fame within reach. An idol, a star, a celebrity... We know their face because we’ve seen it before (on television, on stage, on the movie screen). We slap our friend’s arm and gawk… “That’s (so and so)!” Out comes the smartphone to harness the moment and immortalize the triumph on Instagram… “yeah, I saw (fill in the blank) once, and here’s my evidence!”
Consider this truth… our awe and admiration of the gifts, talents and crafts of those in "super-stardom" are what primarily fuel their fame. Our focus and wonder at the accolades and riches they earn add to their legend. We witness their renown and think, "THAT person is important!" People rarely remember the athlete who “came up short.” The “one hit wonder” who just couldn’t last is quickly forgotten. The “stunt double” is seldom glorified when the actor gets the “face time,” awards and credits.
Friends, stop to consider the magnitude of a personal encounter with one of incomparably higher importance. Have you ever met the Lord? If you have, then that story is a record of your freedom. Your testimony tells the tale of a brush with true greatness. Regrettably, time causes us to forget that the King of heaven- the Alpha and Omega- the Beginning and the End, bypassed autographs and fan-photos to write His love in a new covenant on your heart. He redeemed you to return to holiness, adding to HIS fame!
“Here is the new agreement that I, the Lord, will make with the people of Israel: “I will write my laws on their hearts and minds. I will be their God, and they will be my people.” Jeremiah 31: 33
The rush of rendezvousing with celebrity is electric, but it’s short-lived and fleeting. It’s like a finger in the socket... "ZAP!" But, the feelings fade. You may cherish a photo that commemorates your encounter, or some glossy piece of paper with a scribbled autograph, but does that superstar remember YOU? The legacy of your Creator outshines and outlasts every other and yet, HE knows your name! His love for you was, is, and always will be.
“I am the Lord All-Powerful. I command the sun to give light each day, the moon and stars to shine at night, and ocean waves to roar. I will never forget to give those commands, and I will never let Israel stop being a nation. I, the Lord, have spoken." Jeremiah 31: 35-36
What would you do to share a meal with your biggest idol? How much would you pay? What would you forsake to get that chance? We daydream about it. We have an answer prepared just in case someone were to ask, but what would you do to recline at Jesus’ table? To see Him face to face? Believers, He made a way for this! How quickly we forget that we can meet with the Savior. His truth, His love, His passion and His presence are one with the Holy Spirit that dwells in your heart. Do you want to meet a celebrity? Look inside of yourself. Christ is there.
“We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy. “ 1 John 1: 3-4
“First, then, let us in all quietude and stillness of heart, talk this matter over with one another, and see if it be not so, that we have had, and do have real fellowship with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.” -Spurgeon 1861
Do you want to meet the Savior? You can answer this question with a simple "know, know, know.” Some hearts know nothing of Him and therefore, His fame passes by like a stranger on the sidewalk. Others know of Him (on some distant level), hearing of His deeds or catching wind of His existence, but they never bear witness. Many, however, are blessed to know Him intimately- first hand- on a personal level. His presence, when encountered, is simply undeniable. It moves, shakes, softens and molds us. If this is a part of your story, then you’ve had a brush with greatness. If you wish to live for His legacy, then you have an obligation to bring others to Him. He’s found in the good news. He can be met in His word. He’s found in the worship and praise of His most excellent nature; to His power, deeds and love. He sits with you in times of prayer, patient to listen and proud to speak in the silence.
We love the idea of fame. We adore being tied to the influential- that which seems bigger than ourselves. Friends, our notability is not important. The legacy of man (known or unknown) will fade with time. Adopt the grandest role of proclaiming Christ’s fame. He did the work- He left the impression- He changed the world- now it’s your turn to bear witness to it. Join in the tale that tells of His greatness.