Well, that was embarrassing. It was the pinnacle of the night. Everything was coming down to this one moment. The next Miss Universe was about to be crowned. Then the unthinkable happened. The wrong woman was announced as the winner. Not only that, she was crowned. The wrong person received the crown and accolades. For a moment. A very brief moment.
How could this happen? The rightful wearer of the crown’s name was right there on the index card, but somehow it was missed. Call it human error, but it was an unbelievable gaff.
Social media was abuzz with the news. I have to admit, that’s how I found out about it. For a few days it was the talk on news feeds. What an embarrassing, uncomfortable moment. We chuckle at how something so important (in that context), could be so blown. As though we ourselves would NEVER blow it in such a way.
We would never put a crown on the wrong recipient, would we? The reality is, we all have. There is only one who is worthy to wear the crown. Only one true victor. One who deserves all the attention, all the praise and accolades. Each of us in our own ways have handed that crown over to things that even for a brief moment we believe is worthy. Human error? It’s the human condition.
We have more than index cards, we have God’s letter to us. It’s been the best selling book for years. It’s accessible in various readable translations. It’s on our phones and digital devices. Likely we have more than one copy in our homes. God has made an entire universe that screams out its existence because of him. Discoveries of microscopes, telescopes and stethoscopes all point to him. We are without excuse. It’s right there. Are we missing it?
For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. (Romans 1:19-23)
The incredible story of the gospel is that the King laid aside his crown of glory and took up a crown of thorns. The rightful one left his glorious throne and humbled himself. He left glory and faced scorn. He died for those who reject him. We, the ones who so easily worship false gods – our jobs, families, finances and abilities. He paid the price for our rejection that we might receive God’s grace and forgiveness. He came that we might know God through him.
None of us would have been privy to who the real winner of Miss Universe was had the show just gone on. But the judges knew and that made all the difference. It was that standard that made it a necessity to take off the crown from false winners. God is a righteous judge. He will not allow false winners to continue to wear the crown.
The time for false victors is brief. The rightful wearer of the crown will be known. May it not be a time of shame for us when that moment of recognition occurs. The God of the universe reigns. Read the card and crown accordingly.