Thursday, March 3, 2011

Oscar Thanks

Why hadn't I noticed it before? Among the beautiful gowns, the awkward hosts, the swearing, the political grand-standing, and the tiny slips of paper tucked neatly in the palms of sweating hands, I'd missed it until now. And such a glaring omission too.

I don't think a single honoree at the recent Academy Awards ceremony said thank you to God.

I've become accustomed to hearing the rappers, country legends, and rock music relics give thanks to God as they tearfully clutch their paper-weight/award. The words "Thank you to God" are as common a sound at the Grammy and country music award shows as the orchestral play-off. Not so at the Oscar bash.

When I was a child the church taught me it was a sin to go to movies. My parents took us to drive-in theaters, however. Perhaps there'd be less chance of getting caught there. By the way, I really miss the days when one could carry a butter-soaked brown bag of popcorn from home to the movies. But I digress.

Is God truly not invited into moviedom, or is the Hollywood community just more honest about the absence of God than are music artists? I wonder, is "Thank you God" just something musicians say because it's expected, or is the Holy Spirit more welcome in Nashville, Austin, and Branson than in Beverly Hills, Burbank, and Los Angeles?

I don't know the answers to those questions, but I do know that the smallest flicker of light can permeate any darkness. If the Holy Spirit is really absent in movie star circles, it's not because He doesn't want to be there, it's because He hasn't been invited.

I know there's a vibrant community of believers in Hollywood. They get hushed a lot. I'm sure they'd appreciate our prayers for them as they are real Daniels in what can be a real lion's den.

Look around. Much of the world's population moves through their routines everyday with nary a whispering of God's name. The "mission field" is not on another continent in another hemisphere. The mission field is right under your nose--in your own home, workplace, grocery store, and church pew.

Where there is light there cannot be darkness. God is alive and well--even in Hollywood. Now get off the pew and invite the light into the darkness. Keep today's "Daniels" in your prayers--the ones in faraway places, and the ones next door and around the corner.

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