Awards ceremonies give us a glimpse into the ever-changing world of pop culture. Not only do we get to see the winners react, but it is always entertaining to compare established icons and new voices share a moment that may encapsulate a lifetime of effort or be their 15 minutes of fame.
Acceptance speeches are particularly insightful. Watching the Oscars, I was struck by the number of self-sanctimonious speeches there were throughout the night, and pleasantly surprised that God received some honorable mentions as well.
During his speech, Matthew McConnaughy revealed that he has lived his life always needing someone to look up to—whether that is his friend God, his wife and kids, family that has passed on before him, or the hero he desires to become for himself in the future.
While I don’t know a lot about him, I respected him a little bit more because of where he placed his gratitude, and the overt care and concern he radiated for his family. While discipline, family values, respect and thankfulness are all great moral statutes to lean into, they represent only a baseline of defacto ‘faith’ indicative of most Americans—that of moralistic therapeutic Deists.
Throughout the night, I was made more aware and thankful that I’ve been called and saved by God. That I don’t have to spend my lifetime chasing a moving target, never able to catch up to or achieve and attain hero status in myself. God already did that when He sent Jesus—He instantly made me a winner. My wish is for every child on this earth to understand the chasm of difference between actual deep, satisfying, truly-makes-you-a-winner biblical faith and the Hollywood version of whatever makes you feel good, “God in a briefcase” facade of faith.
In Lupita Nyong’o’s emotion-filled acceptance speech, the Kenyan actor who portrayed the much-abused slave Patsey in one of the most stunning movies this year, “12 Years a Slave,” said,
“It doesn’t escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else’s.”
That line gave me chills.
My faith, my life, my rescue, my freedom is all thanks to the sacrifice, mercy and grace that was given to me when Jesus died on the cross for my sins.
Amidst the glitz and glamor and the blinding spotlight that the world is trying to distract us with, I want the greatest drama that ever took place to be the one that outshines them all. For God to receive all the glory, and for Christ to be everyone’s hero.
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