Monday, December 21, 2015

It's Not Over Until He Says It's Over

The stage is set.  Two lovely young ladies stand, center stage, holding hands and waiting for the host to announce which one of them will be "Miss Universe 2015."  On one side we have Miss Colombia.  She towers over her opponent, Miss Philippines. If this were a boxing match the victor would be clear.  Miss Philippines would not last long, a victim of the extended reach of her brunette counterpart.

But it is not a boxing match.  It is the "Miss Universe Pageant."  The emcee for the evening strolls to the middle of the stage.  He begins reading the historic announcement.  "One of you is about to become our new, Miss Universe."  "Miss Universe 2015 is ... (dramatic pause) ... Colombia!!!!"

The crowd goes wild!  Miss Colombia accepts the "Miss Universe sash." She accepts the flowers.  She accepts the crown.  Clearly this is the highlight of her life!

It lasts for about two minutes.

Re-enter the emcee, a man with a clear look of dread on his face.  He raises his microphone.  "Okay, folks, ahhhh ... there's ...I have to apologize.  The first RUNNER-UP is Colombia.  Miss Universe 2015 is ... Philippines!"

The victory music begins again.  Both contestants look stunned.  The sash is moved from Colombia to Philippines, followed by the flowers and the crown.


There is so much that could be said about this.  I'm pretty certain you will hear a lot about it over the next few days.  Still, as I read it I confess that something jumped inside of me. I knew instantly that it was an internal whisper from a voice beyond the reach of my ears. It was not righteous indignation for either of the young ladies (though both of them have reason to complain.)  It was not anger at the host for messing up.  Nor was it sympathy for the host as he is about to be lambasted by many for this faux pas. It was something deeper.  Something with greater substance and meaning than the results of any beauty contest.  The voice reminded me that I was just like Miss Philippines. 

One time many years ago I was declared a loser.  I was shuffled off to the side like an after-thought.  My future was dark and only going to get darker.  Everybody who knew me agreed that I was a waste of space and deserved whatever penalties I got.  And then The Host of Eternity walked to the middle of the stage.  He stood beside me and said, "I am sorry.  There has been a mistake.  This man is not a loser.  Indeed, he is one of the greatest winners in all of history.  It seems that "the prince of the power of the air" (Ephesians 2: 2)  has declared that this man's destiny is to be discarded into a flaming trash heap where he will spend the rest of forever.  You need to know that is bad information.  I have examined the score card and I find that he is innocent of any charges against him by virtue of the trust he has placed in "The Lamb of God." Quick!  Somebody put a robe on this guy!  Get a ring for his finger!  Get sandals for his feet!  Hurry ... we have to get to the post production party being held in his honor!  (Luke 15: 22-23)

I am really sorry about what happened to those poor ladies at the Miss Universe Pageant.  But I am so glad that it reminded me of what Jesus did for me.

Merry Christmas!  And ... enjoy your new robe.