Students of biblical Greek will remember that the word commonly used for the world (or "cosmos") is closely related to our present day term "cosmetic." Here at Leadership, you won't find any anti-culture curmudgeons slapping hands for wearing nail polish, but this week we did pause to ponder the relationship between the world and the adorning thereof.

The prompt? Before the Oscars event in Los Angeles, a remarkable uptick in cosmetic surgeries highlighted the radical lengths some are willing to go for appearance in our culture. Notable on this year's menu of procedures was the so-called "Vampire Facelift," which extracts the patient's own blood, then re-injects it into the skin to restore that Dracula-esque youthfulness.

It's a poignant picture of our search for eternal youth and beauty, in the shadow of Hollywood's red carpet. Says one cosmetic expert in the BBC's recent mini-doc on the procedure,

"[For] Valentine's Day there's a run on chocolate, and anything red. Oscar week, there's a run on beauty."

Skin-deep beauty, that is. We pastors should love a little glam as much as anybody. But how can our churches help reorient hearts (and faces) to the beauty of the natural?

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