Thanks to Coronavirus, we are all experiencing a new social phenomenon - social isolation. If we remain disease-free, our time in lockdown may be the worst we have to face. For those of us stuck inside, the celebrities of the world have a key message for us: we are not alone.
Not having real-life concerts or appearances, celebrities have turned to lockdown performances to ease our isolation by using whatever talents they have.
“Getting a glimpse of the families of celebrities has provided a bit of perspective. They are mothers, fathers, sons and daughters.”
We discover that celebrities have families, too. As they produce shows in lockdown, we get a glimpse of their family life (sanitised though it may be). We have learned that Jimmy Fallon of The Tonight Show fame has two daughters who adorably interrupt his monologues. Members of the band McFly have multiple kids, many of whom are musically talented. And in a major failure to read the room, Ellen DeGeneres thinks her luxury home is a prison.
We need to see a bit of their human-ness so that we don't idolise them. For example, why are we comforted by celebrities promising us it will be alright and assuring us that we will get through this? Don’t we, as Christians, have much better promises to rely on?
“Don’t we, as Christians, have much better promises to rely on?”
For me, the one celebrity to cut through was Andrea Bocelli. Knowingly or unknowingly, he pointed us in the right direction. As part of his Easter Day concert from the Duomo Cathedral in Milan, he performed “Amazing Grace” to an empty cathedral square. He sang:
“Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.”
That verse is based on Hebrews 6:19-20: "We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf".
Through COVID-19, our suffering will vary. Some of us will suffer much, others very little. Celebrities included. As the pandemic shifts the structures of society and the shiny trappings of life are stripped away, we see ever more clearly that we are all equal, and that our only sure and steadfast anchor is Jesus.