A high moment in American Idol’s finale
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I watched most of the episodes for American Idol this year because I was interested in following several of the contestants. I hadn’t watched Idol for several years, but this year was different. This year, several of the contestants professed their Christian faith as an important part of their life story. 

The season progressed, and last night Abi Carter was voted this year’s American Idol. Abi is one of seven children, raised by a single mom, and said she was from a “religious family.” I did a little research but am still uncertain if she would say she is a Christian. She did sing a Hillsong worship song but was careful to use the word “religious” as opposed to Christian. I agreed with the voters when it came to the quality of her voice. She sings beautifully, but interestingly, it wasn’t Abi’s win or Abi’s songs that became the high moment of this season’s finale. That moment belonged to Roman Collins and CeCe Winans.

The high moment of the finale.

Roman Collins is a 24-year-old worship leader from Long Beach, California. My great grandma ran a boarding house in Long Beach after World War II, and I have fond memories of that city! I love that Roman is a worship leader there. Sadly, he was voted off Idol before reaching the top ten. He returned last night, though, and performed with CeCe Winans during the finale. It was the best moment of the entire season, certainly the best moment of the finale.

If you didn’t watch, take the time to watch their video now. I promise, you will be blessed!

The high moment of the finale was a holy moment. I feel inadequate to describe what happened when they began to sing. I would just say that those moments had a quality about them that displayed the difference between the sovereignty of God and any idol this world might elevate.

The best voice of the entire season was the pure voice of CeCe Winans. Her voice is a gift from God, and she uses her gift for his glory. Sunday night, Roman Collins wasn’t singing to earn a place on Idol, he was singing to honor his God and bring him glory.

The crowd was awed by the performance even though many didn’t realize that it was the worship of God that made all the difference. I was especially struck by Katy Perry’s face during that time.

The difference between respect and reverence.

Katy Perry grew up in a Christian home and actually began her music career singing Christian music. There are a lot of articles that describe her change of heart and change of life. Suffice it to say, she left the church because she felt it was too strict, too narrow, and not a worldview she wanted to have. 

But Jesus hasn’t left Katy Perry. I see conviction in her eyes when someone else talks about Jesus. Her face during the CeCe Winans/Roman Collins song was a picture of someone who misses the One who matters most. Everyone in the crowd would likely respect the quality of the two voices that sang about the goodness of God. Those who understood and had experienced the goodness of God listened with reverence.

The difference between respect and reverence is the difference between evaluating or experiencing the reality of God. That difference will make all the difference in our lives and in our personal worship of God.

A perfect sermon for graduating seniors.

This past Sunday wasn’t just the American Idol finale. It was also the Sunday morning our church celebrated the graduating seniors. Our pastor, who is also our friend, was preaching a message especially designed for those graduating, one of whom was his eldest son. Pike Wisner was the student minister at the church my husband pastored in Dallas. He ministered to our two sons and helped them know God and serve him with their lives. We remember when his oldest son, Nash, was born. It was special to see him now, wearing his cap and gown during the worship service.

Pike’s message encouraged the graduates and everyone else to choose their Christian faith as their highest standard in life. He said that decision would enable our choices throughout the rest of our lives. He used an acrostic for being the “salt of the world” (Matthew 5:13).

  • S: Serve God
  • A: Abide in his word, in his Presence
  • L: Love God and others because that is the highest commandment in Scripture
  • T: Trust God’s word as the truth that will guide every choice in life

Our country is filled with people who respect God, but don’t revere God.

Our country also has some people who neither respect nor revere God. Sadly, these are some of the most visible and vocal people in our world.

Our country needs Christians to once again become the “salt and light” that Jesus taught us to be. 

Our finale is ahead.

I had written a different blog post for today, and the American Idol finale bumped that blog to next week. Next week’s blog post is about the week I spent with my mom in the hospital, unsure if she was going to survive. Fortunately, she is back home and stable! I had a lot of time to think, and I will share those thoughts with you all next week. 

As Christians we are on a journey that is as uncertain as those contestants experienced these past months. Imagine working and waiting each week to see if your entire life would change because of a performance and a bunch of random votes. Yet, for those who do not have the hope of the Lord, that’s how a lot of people feel about their futures too.

Katy Perry, those graduating seniors, and many of us at some point will become a little too enamored with the world. When the world’s idols become appealing, it’s good to remember Jonah’s words. The prophet prayed to God from the belly of the fish saying, “Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love” (Jonah 2:8).

Our finale is ahead. Jesus told us to be the salt and light of the world. Are we living our lives to win the treasure God wants to give? Are we living to bring glory to God, or are we simply performing our lives to win the votes of others? Do we want the titles given by this world, or the high and holy crown of heaven?

The choices we make will be determined by who we Serve, in whom we Abide, in how we Love, and in whom we Trust. How will you be the salt of the earth this week?

There are Katy Perry’s all around us. Let’s help them find their way back to Jesus, the joy of their salvation. God wants to use your giftedness to help others experience his reality in the same way he used CeCe Winans and Roman Collins

Let’s live our lives for the sake of the most important prize. Our finale is ahead, and we want to arrive in heaven as winners!