People are dying for a makeover these days. You know that, and I know that, because it’s all over the news and the TV. Everything’s “Makeover” this and makeover that these days.
Restaurant makeover, have you seen that on TV? You have if you watch the Food Network. “Home Makeover”, there’s another one, except this time a crew goes into someone’s home. Up comes the old carpet to reveal beautiful hardwood floors underneath. And the makeover begins.
Maybe I watch too much TV. Because, I have discovered that on Ellen, there are makeovers of the body as well. That seems to be a big thing. Ellen loves to make people over. There's the “before” shot, of the home maker from Duluth Minnesota. Then Ellen's people go to work, make-up artists, fashion designers, hair stylists, followed by the recipient's grand procession on to the stage, completely transformed. Unrecognizable. And the audience erupts. What a makeover!
And then, there's a whole other makeover window, not so much of the body, but of the psyche. And of the heart. Ah, now we're getting somewhere. Like on Dr Phil: “You have got to change your life, mister. You can’t keep treating your family and your wife that way. You’re just spending way too much time at the office, and on the golf-course, or out with the boys down at the Hooters. And your family doesn’t know who you are anymore.”
“You’re right, Dr Phil”, the man says. “I’ve got to change my life”. They embrace, and Phil cuts to a commercial.
Sometimes, we feel like we need to be made into something new, something transformed, something re-energized. I admit to feeling tired and old sometimes. Heck, today is the oldest I ever been.
That's why we like makeover stuff so much. It’s everywhere, and it sells, on line, on TV, in books. I often wonder “what does that mean, culturally, socially, spiritually? This desire to be transformed. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think anybody’s really looking for new teeth, or a fitter body, or a sparkling new rec room, not deep down. I don’t really think anybody’s looking for a better look, I think we’re looking for a better life.
Well, here's where we're going with all of this. Personal makeover happens to be a major theme of the Bible, and a major part of who Jesus is. “You are fishermen, that is what you do now” Jesus said to the first disciples. “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. You will do different things now”. He gave them new lives, and changed their names. Simon becomes Peter, and the makeover of the heart begins.
Jesus said to Matthew the tax collector, "You cheat people for a living. Follow me instead, and now you will save people." Matthew did, and went on to write stories of Jesus that you can read even today.
It’s the ultimate makeover, because people’s lives are changed, in a deeper ways, from the inside out. Which is what we were looking for from the beginning.
How does it happen todayt? Paul says in Romans 12, “You are transformed through a knowledge of and a relationship with the person of Jesus Christ, and the love of God that he reveals.” In other words, to have an experience of Christ is to come face to face with the love of God for you. And in the bright light of the love, transformation happens.
Here's what's amazing. This isn't just about how you can be changed, it's just as much about how the world can be changed. We are called to love as we have first been loved. This is basic to Jesus' message. That's how the kingdom of this world becomes the kingdom of God and of his Christ. That's the ultimate makeover. And you and me are a part of how that happens.
I’ve seen it happen, over and over. You’ve seen it happen. Change brought by the sharing of this same love. I talked to a woman recently and she told me about her friend who was dying in the hospital. She said “Actually, we were friends, but we had a falling out a few years ago. There was a rift between us. And then, I found out she was dying. And, I had to go see her. I had to make amends before it was too late."
She said “I was so scared to go up, how would she react? I prayed about it, and I remembered the teaching that says God goes with us and gives us strength to do these hard things. So, I went up to see her, she said, and we talked, we were so happy see each other. We both said how good it was to be together again, and we said that we were sorry that we had grown apart."
She said “My friend died a week later, but, not before the kingdom of God came into her hospital room. Not before my life, and her life, were changed.”
Hey, makeovers happen in different ways in our lives. We love makeovers. Eat healthier. Get extensions for your hair. Wallpaper the kitchen. Become, in some way, something new and better. Why not? It’s good to make changes.
What God wants for us is changed hearts. And the promise is that it can happen. When we ask “Create in me a clean heart, and give me the joy of knowing who you are.”
Your life can be changed in that way. The world can be changed in that way. It has happened here, in our community, and will continue to happen here. Today, and always.