Just Read It

From a FB buddy of mine, who’s comment along with the posting was something to the effect of “Because the Bible should be read in monotone” (<-heavy sarcasm on his part).

Several things come to mind.  First off is more of an exclamation – hey!  At least Alec Baldwin is going to church!  Then the questions start.  What does “very theatrical” mean?   How often is Alec there, participating as a non-reader?  Does he hog the spotlight at all of the events one person says he shows up?  What is the make-up of the congregation?  What style of worship do they have?  
Their response to him is completely inappropriate, regardless.  Who is the pastor and what is their approach in handling a celebrity in their midst?  
Ministering in an area that is a popular escape destination for the rich and famous, I’ve spent more than a few minutes figuring out how to reach these people.  Not to ask for money or photo-ops or endorsements or to sponsor anything, but just to sit down and talk with them about their lives and the life of Christ that may or may not be within them.  How would their presence change our community?  How would it change our community if they were actively participating, and if they were generous?  
It’s quite a conundrum, keeping the focus on Christ in a celebrity culture, if those celebrities begin showing up for worship.  Frankly, I think it’s a risk that’s more than worth taking.  A risk that is necessary to take, to be more frank.  As with all of us, celebrities live in a bubble that the Gospel insists on popping.  Theirs is a higher-profile bubble, but one that is replete with challenges and stresses, not just the perks and trappings of American nobility.  They need unconditional love as much as I do, even if they’re far better looking than I am.  
So Alec, you’re welcome to worship here at our church.  Tell your friends.  We don’t want your money or publicity photos or celebrity YouTube endorsements.  Your time in worship here will not be about you, but about Christ.  So if you want to read the lessons on Sunday, I’ll put you into the rotation with our members who share their talents with our community in this way.  Like them, I’ll expect you to try and do what I do when I preach – stay out of the way of the Gospel.  As much as possible and reasonable, allow yourself to slip into the background, and allow the Word to take center stage.  I won’t hold it against you that you’re famous, and I’ll do my best to see to it that the congregation doesn’t either.  
Just sayin’.  

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