Northern Ireland, where I live, isn't a big country at all. In fact our total population is in the region of 1.7 million which is probably comparable to the size of an average sized city, and so when fame comes to someone from our "wee" nation, their careers end up being of great national interest and pride that they are usually easily recognisable to the inhabitants of this particular part of the greater island of Ireland. Well...for the most part that is.
Take one day for example in my home town, when a film crew were in the area shooting scenes for a drama based on the turbulent time in our short history as a country known as the "Troubles". On this particular day a man walked into one of our local florist shop to place an order for a bouquet delivery. The lady serving him instantly recognised the customer as James Nesbitt actor and one of our local Northern Irish lads made good as it were, and so she instantly went into full fan appreciation mode fawning over "Jimmy" and asking if she could have her photo taken with him. With a grin he politely agreed and turning to another man who had accompanied him into the little shop, asked his companion if he would take photo with the lady's phone. His friend, at this stage starting to chuckle gladly agreed and so the shop assistant and James Nesbitt, the famous Northern Irish actor, posed for their impromptu photo call. Flowers orders and photographs taken, the two men said their goodbyes, and left the florist shop assistant beaming broadly behind the counter.
It was at this point that one of her colleagues, who had been watching the whole incident unfold from the back of the store, stepped into the front of the shop and asked the still blushing assistant if she knew who the man was who had taken the photograph for her was?
''No." She replied. '"Why?"
"Because the guys you just asked to take a photo of you and James Nesbitt was Liam Nesson."
Although I wasn't there of course to hear how the exact dialogue took place, I'm reliably informed by my mother who heard the story from the lady herself that this is pretty much how it happened, and that she was mortified that she hadn't recognised the Hollywood superstar!
I wonder how Liam Nesson must have felt? I'm sure James Nesbitt must have enjoyed the whole experience at the very least.
“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. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,”
John 1:10-12 ESV
And lately...I've been wondering how Jesus felt when his own people didn't recognise Him. Here was the ultimate superstar, the one who created everything and He wasn't even recognised by His own creation because everyone was just too busy taking selfies with the people who they they thought they knew were the most important at that time: the High Priest, Herod, the Governor, Caesar...but not Jesus, not the creator come in flesh.
But then again…would I have done any better? Would I have recognised Him? Do I recognise Him now, or do I still have the tendency to rush to get a selfie taken with the people and things I think are more important or that look like they are Him but really aren’t?
So that’s it. Do I recognise Jesus around me, or am I still too busy with the things that I think are Him? That’s my little Monday thought, and maybe now you’ll think about it as well.