February 27, 2017
Blame the accountants.
What a royal blunder: “And the Academy Award for Best Picture goes to… La La Land.” Oops; no, not really. What? Jordan Horowitz, one of the producers of La La Land, corrected Warren Beatty: “There’s a mistake; Moonlight: you guys won Best Picture. This is not a joke…”
Give Warren a break. He’s still pretty spry for a guy getting ready to blow out 80 candles on March 30th. He’s been in the crosshairs of a paperwork snafu before. He was set up again…
The last time was back in 1978 – nearly 40 years ago in Heaven Can Wait. He played Joe Pendleton, fictional quarterback of the Los Angeles Rams who survives the attempts on his life every Sunday by middle linebackers, only to succumb to his introduction to the afterlife while riding his bike in Malibu. A rookie angel goofs – anticipating a fatal collision that was not part of the Plan – and transports Joe to the Judgment. Problem: he wasn’t expected yet – his appointment wasn’t until 2025! – so Mr. Jordan (that’s James Mason, playing Hollywood’s decaf version of God) scrambles outside the pocket trying to score on a broken play. Joe’s body has already been cremated – no resurrection option is possible – so Jordan allows him to return to the body of a rich guy just drugged and drowned by his gold digger wife and her conspiring boyfriend. Get the DVD on Netflix…
Warren’s been the victim of an accounting mix-up in Hollywood twice; he handles it well. Pricewaterhouse Coopers has owned last night’s error: someone gave Beatty the wrong envelope as he walked on stage for the final award of the evening. Blame the accountants.
On the heels of Super Bowl LI earlier this month, the lesson is clear: it isn’t over until it’s over. No, the new reality: it isn’t over until after it’s over. Over just means that the winner may not yet be apparent; after it’s over is when it’s official…
Art imitates life, again. The person delivering the eulogy at your funeral/memorial service will just read the envelope they’ve been handed… but earthly accounting is fraught with failure. The guy/gal who gets the Oscar – down here – may be subject to a stunning reset when he/she arrives at the real event – up there.
The accountants “up there” are making entries in two books; they’re responsible for the only record keeping that will ultimately matter. What are the books, and why do they matter?
Book #1 is the Book of Life: “…And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15). Over a dozen times – from Old Testament to New – heaven’s phone book (every human inhabitant has a listed number) is referenced. The host at the door is absolutely fastidious: if you don’t have a reservation, you don’t get in the door. This book answers the question: who do you know? If you don’t know Jesus, you don’t get in.
Book #2 is the Book of Works: “The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books” (Revelation 20:12). Reference to the Book – in this citation – is specific to the people whose names are not found in Book #1, but even the redeemed are being tracked – after salvation – to assure that all that is done is ultimately compensated: “For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done (Matthew 16:27). This book answers the question: what did you do? The temporal works will be redacted; the eternal works will be rewarded. If your efforts were focused toward Heaven’s agenda, you’ll win the prize.
Oscar statues drive people to great performances; who remembers last year’s winners? The Crowns of the Kingdom should drive Christians to great performances; they’ll be elite, forever.