The ninety-second Academy Awards took place last night at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California. Now that the Oscars have all been distributed, here are some facts that may be of interest.
Brad Pitt had a one-in-twenty chance of winning his first Oscar for acting (which he did). This made him the likeliest person to win in the four acting categories, though one in twenty still seems like remote odds to me. Few predicted that Parasite would win for Best Picture, showing that what the oddsmakers predict is often not what the Academy decides.
Joe Pesci was nominated for the first time in twenty-nine years, Al Pacino for the first time in twenty-seven years, Anthony Hopkins for the first time in twenty-two years, and Tom Hanks for the first time in nineteen years. Yet they are four of the finest, most acclaimed actors of our generation.
An Oscar statuette is 13.5 inches high and weighs 8.5 pounds, but it is worth an estimated 20 percent pay boost to those who win one for Best Actor or Best Actress. Conversely, the Academy, which has first right of refusal, will buy back an Oscar if a recipient or his/her heirs wish to sell it for the price of $1.
I cannot claim to be a movie expert on any level, but I found these facts surprising and counterintuitive. This should not be surprising since so much of life is counterintuitive.
The surprising Academy Awards are a microcosm of our surprising world. If you and I were designing our planet, would we have included mosquitoes? On the other hand, would we have been creative enough to create hummingbirds and sunsets over the ocean?
Perhaps the most surprising part of my experience over many years has been the surprises I find in the word of God.
The surprising truth of Scripture
Before I became a Christian, I would never have guessed that the holy God of the universe would choose my eternal life over the death of his Son. I would never have guessed that he would forgive every sin I confess and forget all he confesses (Isaiah 43:25).
Or that God is both three and one. Or that Jesus could become fully man while remaining fully God. Or that the Lord can know the future while we have freedom to choose. Or that his word can be divinely inspired and humanly written.
Such surprises are actually good news for our faith.
C. S. Lewis: “Reality, in fact, is usually something you could not have guessed. This is one of the reasons I believe Christianity. It is a religion you could not have guessed. If it offered us just the kind of universe we had always expected, I should feel we were making it up. But, in fact, it is not the sort of thing anyone would have made up. It has just that queer twist about it that real things have.”
We don’t need to be surprised about the Oscars to believe that they were distributed last night. But it’s encouraging to remember that the surprising nature of God’s word is evidence that it is God’s word.
What surprising truth of Scripture do you need to remember today?