Last night I watched the Oscars. What a spectacle the Oscars are as the Hollywood elite gather to celebrate achievements in the practice of their art! Best movie! Best Actor and Actress! Best screenplay! Best score!
Hurrah for the best and the almost best!
It occurs to me that maybe we need an Academy Award celebration for life, a day when we all dress up in our very best clothes and roll out the red carpet and give away swag bags full of valuable gifts from all of life’s sponsors! Wouldn’t that be something? I can see it now… the nominees for best parent are… in the category of best performance as a public servant are… the award for best supporting friend goes to… the Oscar for most original work in making ends meet on minimum wage is won by…
Wouldn’t that be an amazing night as we celebrate together all of the many ways that we creatively live out our lives, a celebration of the extraordinary in the midst of the ordinary? I do not mean to belittle the craft of movie-making. Far from it! I think it is wonderful to have this gala night and the hopes and dreams of being the very best you can be in your field. I just think it would be nice if we had something similar for all of us less photogenic folks, some recognition that would encourage us to do our very best. Plumber of the year! Childcare worker of the year! Accountant of the year! Best morning commuter! Best maker of lattes. A silver star for the most caring nurse. Best director of a manufacturing plant! The Golden Socket Wrench Award for best mechanic! And my personal favorite, sermon of the year!
Alas, there are no Oscars given for lives lived well. No red carpet, no swag bag, no interview on Entertainment Tonight. Yet, there is one who knows all of your striving. There is one who celebrates every victory and mourns every loss. There is one who is cheering you on when you are too tired to continue, one who is the founding member of your very own fan club. It is for this one that we sing and dance, for this one that we take the stage, deliver our lines, and bow before the grateful applause. God sees your life. God watches with admiration and gratitude and celebrates your human striving toward being the best you can be. God is the audience and our faith says that God is an appreciative audience.
God has promised that, though no Oscars are handed out to you and me for our faithful lives, there will indeed be recognition for lifetime achievement. Eternity in God is the mystery and the promise, the reward and the recognition. As we strive toward this goal, by God’s design, we make both our little world and God’s great big world, a better place by
doing our best.
Hope to see you in church soon!