Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Red Carpet

Our television is tuned to the Oscars. We have just over twelve minutes to go before the show begins. But we don't have to wait for the show to start to get a glimpse of the action. Television cameras are set up along the red carpet, and we are already being entertained by different television personalities who are stopping stars on their way to the show. The question being asked is not, "How are you?" or "What excites you about being here tonight?" Rather, each star is being asked, "Who are you wearing?"

Who are you wearing? The responses have ranged from Valentino to Oscar de la Renta to Marchesa and countless designers in between - some of whom I have never heard before. Some of the dresses are couture - a word that seems to bring about an even more impressive response.

Who are you wearing? The question is asked repeatedly as if the average viewer can afford a dress by the same designer.

Who are you wearing?

For the last five weeks we have been examining the Sermon on the Mount. The Sermon, as recorded in Matthew, is perhaps the greatest sermon ever to be preached. Jesus uses the sermon to form an alternative community. He uses the sermon to teach the crowds about what it means to follow him. The sermon describes the transformed life offered to all who follow Jesus. Jesus has the power to change people, and a changed life is expected of all who follow him. Disciples of Jesus are to be like light in the night. They are to turn the other cheek if someone strikes them. If one asks for a coat, disciples are beckoned to give their cloak as well. Disciples are blessed - but not in the way we expect people to be blessed. Disciples, followers of Christ, are different. They wear Christ by not worrying, by treating everyone around them with an abundance of grace, by salting the world around them.

The dresses on the red carpet illicit many oohs and ahhs. Many people will go and purchase a dress by a designer simply because of hearing the designer named tonight. The dresses have an effect on people watching.

Our discipleship is to have a similar effect. Others are to be able to see who we are wearing - who we follow - who is in control of our lives.

Who are you wearing?

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