Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Famous...for now.

Last night, John, the two younger kids, and I went to our friends' house for dinner (homemade pizza, yum) and games. We ended up playing Trivial Pursuit ... the original version from the 1980s. We laughed realizing that we'd played that game twelve years prior with these very friends and it was old back then! We also had to remind ourselves the date of the game and thus answer the questions accordingly--after all the "trivia" of the time was before the fall of the Berlin Wall, pre-Brad Pitt, and at the time of big hair and the Bratt Pack in Hollywood.

One thing that we noticed is that famous people don't stay famous very long. New people take their place. Does anyone today remember that Eddie Fisher was married to both Elizabeth Taylor and Debbie Reynolds (one of the questions)? Sure, it was a big buzz at the time, but today does anyone even care? Fifty years from know will Jolie-Pitt have any meaning to the younger crowd? I doubt it. Will they say, "Britney who?" when you talking about "big stars" during your day. I'm sure they will.

I got to thinking about this again as I was reading the first chapters of Matthew today. At the time of Jesus' birth Herod was at the top of his game. He had it all. He controlled it all. But where did it leave him? His name is recognizable after all these years, and if you were playing Bible Trivia his name might come up for being the guy who ordered the deaths of all the baby boys in Bethlehem. But how much more do we know about the king of Judea at the time of Christ's birth?

Here's a good quote from Alexander Maclaren concerning this idea of "important people":

"Men come and go; leaders, teachers, thinkers speak and work for a season, and then fall silent and impotent. He abides. They die, but He lives. They are lights kindled, and, therefore, sooner or later quenched; but He is the true light from which they draw all their brightness, and He shines for evermore."

People remember Herod a little. Jesus still transforms lives. Herod was worried about this newborn king taking over his throne, but Jesus came to be the king of Herod's life, of my life, of your life.

When I kept reading today, the story in Matthew continued with wise men from the east asking the "reigning" king directions to find the newborn king so they could worship him. Those who are wise still seek and worship Jesus today, not because His name is in the last version of Trivial Pursuit, but for who He is and who He will be for all eternity.

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