By Jon Wren
Would you like to receive a birthday message from legendary quarterback Brett Favre? It’ll cost you $400. Want to send your spouse an anniversary message from country music superstar Granger Smith? That’ll cost you $74. Or, since it’s Grandparent’s Day, perhaps you’d like to send your grandparent or a grandchild an encouraging video from Oscar-winning actor Richard Dreyfuss. It’ll cost you $999. All of these celebrities and more can record and deliver a custom video message for you through a platform called Cameo.
Cameo contracts with various singers, actors, athletes, and other famous people to provide, for a set price, a short video of them greeting or congratulating you or a friend. Currently more than 30,000 registered celebrities are available to provide videos, messages, and even live Zoom calls!
While Cameo may be a neat idea—and the ability to get a personalized message from your favorite celebrity does sound pretty cool—the whole business model is based on people paying other people to acknowledge and pay attention to them. In short, while the messages people receive may be truly kind and genuine, they aren’t free. No, you must pay for them.
In preparing for Communion, we Christ followers should remember the lengths to which Jesus went so we could be in relationship with him. Eternal life is free to us because Jesus paid the price at the cross. When we take the bread and the cup, we should acknowledge that we don’t deserve forgiveness and that we cannot pay for it or earn it. The apostle Paul wrote,
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonshipthrough Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace (Ephesians 1:3-7).
Today let’s celebrate and be thankful for the free gift of God’s love and forgiveness!
Jon Wren works with the Office of Civil Rights, addressing the impact of gentrification on school desegregation. He loves history, college football, and once got a ticket for driving too slowly.