An insurance company has taken its message into the viral universe. It has invited wannabe dancers to avail their dancing skills to its reality show. Once accepted, the dancers must be prepared to break out in impromptu dance at any time the show does it’s ‘reveal.’ One dancer is on an open air bus, another in the middle of a coffee shop. The dance routines are captured by hidden cameras and presented on Youtube. The best dancer and routine will then be rewarded with a $10,000 prize.
Fun stuff, except that the whole thing is a set-up. There are no innocent tourists in the open air bus and the coffee shop is really a stage on a movie lot. The dancers are real-life professionals. The faux-reality is actually a sixty second commercial aimed at making the stodgy insurance company look like a corporate frat house.
For all the fun that exists in the viral universe; cats that can fit in milk bottles, boys with bats slugging their fathers in the privates, and babies falling asleep in their birthday cakes, there is an overwhelming wish-fulfillment element. We want to be special. If we can’t BE special then we want to witness something special.
This week in our reading of ACTS 12,13 there is an overriding theme and that is that the author of ACTS, the good doctor Luke, sees that we ARE special. Humankind is so special that the message of Jesus must be taken to those who need to hear that they are special. In chapter 13 Paul points out that this message of good news is one that has come down through centuries and is so freeing that a listener can scarce believe it to be true. But it is true brother and sister. This is not an Ashton Kutcher Punk’d episode. This is the God of the universe telling you how important you are.
The other thing these two chapters tell us is that not everyone is happy that you are special. In some people’s minds, membership has its privileges and they want to keep it that way. It stuns me time and time again that James was beheaded, Peter locked in prison with a death sentence and Paul beaten to within an inch of his life because they all shared the good news to people who needed to hear it.
Be like Paul today and shake off the dust of phony religiosity or intellectual hubris and readily discover the benefits of life in the family of faith.