And the Winner is…
This past week-end, the Oscars were on television Sunday. Although the event started at 8:30 p.m. eastern, and lasted until almost midnight, there were hours of pre-event broadcasts with Guiliana Rancic and Kelly Osbourne, among others. There is always hype surrounding the red carpet and what all the “stars” are going to wear to the event. While there were many beautiful gowns and elegant tuxedos, the show also featured its share of people who were dressed over the top. You know, Jack Nicholson with his sun glasses and scores of others who wore horrendous outfits but thought they looked just great.
Sometimes, it seems that Hollywood is full of people who just like to congratulate themselves. And let’s face it – they are not alone. If you look back throughout the years, the kings of old have also dressed “to the nines.” The French kings, in particular, always wore extremely ornate and elegant robes. And in our modern day, there are still examples of ornate pageantry and dress in many places of the world.
The point of all this is that people concentrate on impressing us from their outward appearance, but we often can’t see what is going on it their hearts. In the Greek language, the word “cosmos” is used to describe things of the world. Theologically, it means “of the world.” That is why we look to the stars and refer to them as the “cosmos” – part of the world that we know and see. If you recall, Carl Sagan, an atheist even wrote a book entitled, “Cosmos” that became a very strong seller.
Another definition of the word is to “cover up what is real.” In fact, cosmos is the root word of our English word “cosmetic” – which we use to refer to women’s make-up. It is applied to “cover up what is real…..” – get it? Hiding the real thing by putting something over it. Kind of like all the people who wore the elegant gowns and jewelry, trying to look like something other than that which is real.
God has quite a bit to say about what is real and what is not. Not surprisingly, God always hopes that we choose what is real as opposed to what is not. As Christians, we turn to God, who is the real thing – and turn away from Satan who is the impostor. Most of the time, simpler is better. God confirms that with our verses for the evening. Although it is somewhat unusual for me to list several lines of Scripture, it just seemed appropriate this evening.
Our passage comes from the New Testament book of Matthew. Christ is speaking about the splendor and perfection of God’s creation and tells us in Matt 6:28-34, “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
My encouragement this evening is that you will seek the kingdom of God first. Just focus on the Lord and the work that He has assigned you to do. The result is up to Him. My prayer is that God will guide your steps and show you how simple life can be when you walk in the Spirit and leave the worries to Him. By doing that, the winner will be YOU! Now and forever more. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…