My Cousin Bobby
I come from a such an incredible musical family, that when it comes to talent, I am WAY DOWN on the totem pole. There are so many amazing musicians in my family, but the most famous musician in my family was my cousin---a country singer by the name of Bobby Helms---who recorded the original version of Jingle Bell Rock in 1957. “Jingle Bell Rock” was the first pop hit to tie a Christmas theme with rock music, and is still one of the most played Christmas songs every year.
Unfortunately, the success that came with that song was too much for my cousin to handle, and he spent a large part of his life battling drug and alcohol addiction. The success of being a very up-and-coming country artist in Nashville, performing on the likes of “The Ed Sullivan Show”, to then being nationally recognized within a matter of weeks, was simply too much success too fast.
The Reality of Fame
Why does this happen to people when fame becomes a reality in their lives? Why does it always seem that, when many people achieve celebrity, they begin to evolve into a caricature that is nothing like who they were before?
For me, the best answer is because when the glory, and honor, and fame, and praise…AND worship that is only reserved for ONE SUPERNTURAL BEING gets lavished and displayed upon a finite human being---it actually damages them. As clinical psycologist Dr. Donna Rockwell says:
“…fame and celebrity can closely mirror substance abuse symptomology — and over time, result in actual substance abuse, isolation, mistrust, dysfunctional adaptation to fame, and then, too often, untimely death…The research conducted shows that fame changes a person’s life forever, and is felt more as an impact or “overnight” experience, rather than a gradual transition."
Those in the spotlight begin to take on an image, a persona, a misrepresentation and falsification of who they are…almost as if they were pretending to be the BEING that is worthy of this devotion.
The Difference Between Us and God
The simple fact of the matter is that we were created to worship, not to be worshiped, and whenever the reverse happens, it distorts what God intended from the beginning.
Maybe the greatest mystery of life is that the God of the universe wants to have fellowship with human beings. He didn’t need it---HE DOESN’T NEED ANYTHING. He is “I AM THAT I AM,” with no qualification or exception (Exodus 3:14). If He needed anything to stay alive or to feel complete, then He would not be God.
But this God that does not need anything, amazingly, loves us passionately and wants to have fellowship with us forever. So 2,000 years ago, God Himself put on skin, came to Earth, and gave His very life to atone for our sin and prove His deep love for us.
Long story short---He is the one who is worthy of glory, and honor, and praise, and adoration, and worship…not us.
A couple of important things to remember this Christmas:
1. Christmas is a time of giving, and this is going to play out in so many different ways for you during this joyful season. But as a follower of Christ, our number one way to express this act of giving is to commit to giving all the glory, honor, praise, attention, devotion and worship to the ONLY ONE who deserves these accolades.
2. And Christmas is also a time of receiving. NOT for receiving the praise and worship that only He deserves, but for receiving the grace of Jesus Christ that none of us do:
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
- Isaiah 9:6
P.S. One of the best ways to give Him what he deserves, and to learn more about receiving what you don’t, is to prioritize Christmas Eve for yourself and your family. Christmas Eve is also an amazing opportunity to invite that friend, or neighbor, or family member or co-worker who needs to experience Christ this Christmas!
Be sure to register for Christmas Eve at the link below, and we can’t wait to see you!
Worship Pastor & Programming Manager
White Oak Christian Church