In the Graham Norton New Year’s Eve show, a junior actor-singer guest was describing his chance encounter with Michael Jackson on the phone. He was crying, shaking, and could hardly stand, simply because Michael Jackson knew about his musical accomplishments, talked with him, and encouraged him. He was literally awestruck that Michael Jackson knew about him.
Michael Jackson was a talented musician and performer whose life was filled with successes and controversies. He has inspired and entertained millions but died tragically from OD. Many revered him and many envied him and some despised him. Reasons are complex and I can’t comment or judge. We are easily awed by fame, fortune, power, and positions.
John 1:12: “But to those received [Christ], who believe in his Name, [God] gives the right to become children of God.” Ephesians 1:4-6: “[God] chose us in [Christ] before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love, he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will, to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.”
When I ponder these magnificent words of God, I should be shaking, crying, and laughing in awe and gratitude. The is the Living God, the Creator of all that we can see with our eyes, electronic microscopes, the most powerful telescopes, long-range radio wave receivers, and any tools of perception that we can ever invent. This is the God Almighty. This is Christ the King of kings and the Lord of lords. This is our Saviour who chooses to suffer and absorb all the ugly and nasty consequences of all the sins of humankind, experiences death on our behalf, rises victoriously over the power of sin and death, and enters into our lives through his Spirit to be our constant companion, counselor, and enabler. This is the Father who will welcome us into his embrace and eternal presence as we breathe our last earthly breath. I can go on and on.
If a singer-actor cries and shakes in the telephone presence of Michael Jackson, how should I behave in the presence of God Almighty, as I am right now? Not only does God Almighty knows and knows about me, God also redeems me from my sins and all the sins of the world through his life and death and then empowers me to live a new life in Christ through his Spirit, as though I’m his child. And I am his child, now and for eternity.
I’m just sitting here docilely. In Christ, the extraordinary and amazing has become routine and taken for granted.
I don’t know what to think or say.
Perhaps this awe and thankfulness never left Paul the Apostle—that’s why he was compelled by the love of Christ to become who he was, Christ’s greatest evangelist to the world. As I face the world’s physical issues, I must remember whose child I am. Physically, I’m an orphan but I have been adopted as God’s child. It’s a position of honour available for any human who believes in and receives Christ. It’s an extraordinary and gracious privilege that is available to all.
A few—very few—Christians respond to this appropriately and they are the St. Teresa’s, Billy Graham’s, Hudson Taylor’s, and Oswald Chamber’s—just to name a few that comes to mind immediately—who have brought extraordinary increases to God’s kingdom and his righteousness. Others in our personal life include the Bridle’s, the Lackey’s, Austin’s, and others who have dedicated their lives to the propagation of the good news of Christ.
What am I going to do with this head knowledge for the rest of my life?
What would the remainder of today and the rest of my life look like if I were to finish this journal entry and start going about my day as though what I’ve just written is true?