In Life Magazine, “100 People Who Changed the World” (2010), Jesus was listed at number 5 but based on votes on an independent website, he was ranked at number 63. Garnering more votes than Jesus include Roentgen (he discovered x-rays in 1895 and won the first Nobel Prize for Physics in 1901), Confucius, Einstein and Henry Ford.
Singer-songwriter, Taylor Swift has just been named as Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year”. She was chosen because ‘in a divided world, where too many institutions are failing, [she] found a way to transcend borders and be a source of light’.
In her music, according to Time Magazine, Taylor Swift is ‘committed to validating the dreams, feelings, and experiences of people, especially women, who felt overlooked and regularly underestimated”. This is why, ‘So many have turned to [her] tales because they’ve been so disappointed by the storylines that emerge elsewhere in society’.
I’ve never heard any of Swift’s music so I am neither a fan or otherwise. There is no question she is incredibly popular and talented. Recently, she became the first female artist in Spotify history to reach 100 million monthly listeners. According to New York’s University’s Clive Davis Institute who awarded her an honorary doctorate in fine arts, Swift is ‘one of the most prolific and celebrated artists of her generation’. Notwithstanding, I still find Time Magazine’s choice and their justification, an overreach.
Contrast this with Jesus, the Creator of heaven and earth, God in the flesh, whose coming changed the world forever. “The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him” (John 1:9-11).
Unfortunately, 2,000 years later, little has changed. People either don’t give two hoots about Jesus or they know very little of him. But something can be done – we can prayerfully ask and look for opportunities to share the Christmas gift of transforming hope with those in our frontlines – not just during the Christmas season but throughout the year.
Look past your fears of sharing Jesus with someone to the wonderful promise that those who receive him, God gives them the right to become his children (John 1:12).
Have faith in God!