Night to Shine, through the Tim Tebow Foundation is an unforgettable prom experience, centered on God’s love, for people with special needs. Participants, ages 14 and older, from all around our region are able to gather and experience a night filled with celebration and their place in the Kingdom of God. On Feb. 7th, over 160 guests and their families were at Bethel for this wonderful event. In her essay below, Bethel member Jillian Finkbeiner gives us a thoughtful reminder about what Night to Shine really represents.
Crown Them with Many Crowns
by Jillian Finkbeiner
The most expensive recorded crown jewels in history comes from the United Kingdom. The collection’s conservative valuation stands at 39 million dollars. These Crown Jewels include over 140 objects, including crowns, robes, trumpets, swords, and rings. Containing 23,578 precious stones, the collection is home to the largest clear-cut diamond in the world weighing in at 530 carats. These symbols represent 800 years of a powerful monarchy who have established their presence and place in history. Truth be told, the royal crowns and regalia will outlast those who wear them. A son or daughter will be next in line and take the crown of their king or queen and all power, prestige, and glory will be transferred and redistributed, leaving them with only a name in history.
Arguably, the least expensive crown jewel in all of history was the one placed on Christ’s head, shoulders and hands. “[The soldiers] stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on His head. They put a staff in His right hand. They knelt in front of Him and mocked Him. ‘Hail, king of the Jews!’ they said” (Matthew 27:27-29). Jesus was ridiculed, insulted, spat on, beaten and rejected by His own community. Roman soldiers twisted out their own version of a crown from a thorny bush. A crown of pain, suffering and anguish. However, what the soldiers meant for evil, God used for good. This crown might be a representation of rejection, but in God’s eyes it signals salvation. A crown of salvation that would bring eternity to the disadvantaged, marginalized, lost, lonely and shunned. Christ’s crown of thorns rescues everyone so they can, “enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away” (Isa. 51:11).
At Night to Shine, our community is able to reinforce this Good News. Those with special needs need to be reminded of their prestige, glory and rightful place as God’s children. Their eternal glory will never expire. I Corinthians 9:25b states, those without Christ strive, “…to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” Alongside our friends at Night to Shine, we are all reminded that we are held secure by the grace and mercy of Christ by which He places a crown of glory on our heads. “And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away” (I Peter 5:4).
Our crowns of glory will not fade, tarnish, slip, lose value or be passed on. As crowns are place on our friends’ heads during Night to Shine, their joy and permanent laughter emulates what Heaven will be like. A royal celebration of victory, completeness, and wholeness with the loudest of cheers, applause and joy. The value of their prom crown might be minimal, but their eternal circlet is laced with gold, rubies, sapphires, emeralds and diamonds that are priceless under the sacrifice and redemption of our Eternal King of kings, Jesus Christ.