Jean Newell, Associate Pastor at Sun Lakes United Methodist Church
Did you happen to see the Academy Awards a few weeks ago? Do you remember what happened at the end of the show? Actors Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway were to present the final award of the evening. Warren, opening up the envelope, seemed confused by the card inside, so he then showed the card to Faye who immediately announced La La Land as the winner of the Best Picture award. To the cheers of the audience, acceptance speeches were being given when the stage manager appeared on stage, and confusion erupted when it was discovered Moonlight and not La La Land had won! Eventually, the stunned Moonlight producers and cast made it to the stage to claim their rightful award.
When all was said and done, it was discovered one of the two accountants who were in charge of safeguarding the award envelopes had made the mistake of giving Warren Beatty the wrong envelope. Within hours after the award show ended, it was announced that the Academy had now banned the two accountants who had been at the show from ever participating in the event again! In the days afterward, bodyguards were hired for protection, because the two accountants had received death threats because of the mistake in envelopes!
Now I understand that the Academy Awards is the event of the year for Hollywood! I understand that the Oscar for the Best Picture is the biggest award of all the awards! I understand the motion picture industry is a business. What blows me away, though, is the severity of the response to the accountant’s unfortunate mistake!
Since then, I’ve thought about mistakes I’ve made in life, and some of them have been real “beauts.” What if something I’ve done or something I’ve said was so grievous so as to get me banned from ever entering heaven! If that were to happen, I’d lose all hope of eternal life!
Jesus entered into our world so that we might understand that when we open ourselves up to God, that God’s forgiveness is greater than any mistake that could separate us from God’s love! Therein lies our hope revealed for all time in the discarded grave clothes and the empty tomb of the first Easter! Hope, forgiveness and God’s amazing grace are ours through faith in Jesus Christ! Hallelujah!