March 9, 2016
So, I was watching a show on television and I saw an actor whom I had seen before. That often happens to me. I do “faces.” Not names… but faces. There have been occasions when Ellen and I have been out in public and I will see someone with whom I went to Jr. high school and I still recognize them after all these years even with the wrinkles, gray (or no) hair, weight and drooping… everything. There is actually a part of the brain that is the “face recognition” part. In some folks that part of their gray matter is overdeveloped. If I’m going to have a strong part of my brain I would like to think it could be something a little more important than knowing faces… (sigh). In some people, the face recognition part of their brain is underdeveloped. I saw a show several years ago where they had a doctor who specialized in this field. He brought with him a woman who did not have the ability to recognize her own children! When she picked them up at school she only knew who they were by the clothes they were wearing. How awful is that?! By the way… this condition is called “prosopagnosia.” (10 points if you can actually pronounce that!) If you are interested in discovering your face recognition talents go to: http://www.businessinsider.com/people-with-prosopagnosia-cannot-recognize-faces-2014-4 and take the quiz. I got them all… ha ha!
Anyway, back to our actor. It annoyed me that I couldn’t remember where I had seen him… and then it came to me! The last time I saw him was 5 or 6 years ago sitting at a table across from me at a restaurant in upstate New York grilling me about Christianity. He is a friend of my son David. When I realized who he was I immediately went to that place that we all recognize. You know the place where we are all enraptured because we “know” a celebrity. You know what I mean? We get all giggly inside when we are able to say, “Hey, do you know that I know __________? Yep, they’re my friend. We hang together. We have the same interests… yeah, yeah, yeah… it’s me and _________.” It’s actually a little embarrassing and… well… disgusting. Celebrity worship that is. I’m sure it has something to do with age but meeting “famous” people gets less and less thrilling as I grow older. But we all have our weaknesses. I would faint like a little girl if I met Paul McCartney. Well, okay, maybe not faint, but I might scream like a teenager. Well, okay, maybe not that either. But I would be duly impressed… you know… in like an old man sort of way. So what does this have to do with anything? I mean short of you being impressed because of who I know? Read on.
In the gospel of John, chapter 8 Jesus says this: 58 “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!”
What’s really going on here? The short of it is this… Jesus is quoting God from the third chapter of Exodus where He’s talking to Moses: 13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”
Do you remember conjugating verbs when we were in elementary school, or Jr. high? You know the whole “I am, you are, he/she/it is?” The word that God uses here is simply the verb “to be.” The “first person” part of that verb is “I AM”. But what does that mean? Simply this. God is saying, “I am, that I am.” Or “I exist because I exist.” Think about it. You and I exist because our parents existed… and them because of their parents. God is saying to Moses “I exist and there is no one before me.” This use of the verb “I AM” was so sacred that the Jews wouldn’t even say the word.
In John 8 then Jesus claims to be God, “before Abraham was born, I am!” Is it any wonder that verse 59 says, “At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.” In the eyes of the Jewish religious leaders he had just spoken blasphemy!
So what does any of this have to do with “knowing” celebrities? Simply this… I “know” the Great “I AM.” Get it? I know the God of the universe. Knowing particular human beings so pales in comparison that it hardly deserves mentioning! The next time someone tells you that they are tight with _______, you tell them that you know the One who created all of this. And you get to hang out with Him regularly.
Gotta run… going to hang with the Lord for a while.