The Greatest Show on Earth

31 10 2007

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Have you been to a meeting where the well trained greeters smile at you and exuberantly inform you how welcome you are while their eyes wander past you to the next couple coming up the driveway?

You stroll past all the adverts for the latest tape and CD sessions now available in the bookstore. A message that you are invited to the cafeteria afterwards to have a cup of coffee flashes from the screen and you are informed that an appointed individual will provide details to all newcomers so that the church can welcome you.

As you wander into the auditorium, you note the creative design of the stage and the lush and comfortable chairs, all in rows facing toward the stage with the imposing podium. The band wanders on the stage and starts to play instrumental music as a designated announcer comes forward to encourage you to support the upcoming functions. Of course all the announcements could not be made, but in the pamphlet you will find the full range of activities you can be involved with. 

Another person takes the stage and says, “let us pray”! All heads bow in unison and you quickly drop yours as you would be the only one still looking around! Yet you notice there are hundreds of people just continuing with what they were doing! Eventually it quites down and the worship is about to start! The band strikes up and a flash of light beams across the auditorium lighting up the Worship Leader.

After five songs starting from a raucous get up and boogy number to a more thoughtful and emotional song the worship comes to an end.

The guest speaker is annouced who has a list of accomplishments that simply amazes one! Amidst thunderous applause he takes the stage. Perfect delivery with a humorous story or two and an emotional piece of personal experience thrown in to really amplify the fact that he has been there and done it while speaking from experience.

The collection is next and this well-drilled activity of obtaining money from the vast amount of people and the security issues involved impresses one.

Finally, the Head Pastor takes the stage to thank the speaker and remark on how great it was that he was here to encourage us all and what a great family he has.  

A rustling is heard in the audience as it is obvious the meeting is rapidly coming to an end.

I sit back suitably impressed and wander why I came here! Oh yes, it was to be inspired and to decide why I should follow this religion. Well, I could follow any of the music bands I know or any movement with inspiring speakers and having attended the Toastmasters movement I knew what good speeches were! How do I make my choice? This question eludes me as I sit at lunch to consider.

The fact that I am searching a religion which speaks of personal relationships and love as the cornerstone has nearly eluded me as I was astounded by the production of religion just witnessed!

This is more or less the story that was told me recently by a young man searching for that Jesus we have spoken about. It broke my heart to hear what we have made of Him! A show to be enjoyed! Help me to make the beauty of relationship with the creator of all real to His creation.

Forgive us Lord as we know not what we do and I pray that you will inspire each and everyone of us to speak and teach You only.   May Colossians 1;15-23 live in our hearts.

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One response

16 11 2007
Frances

Spot on.
It has to be possible to draw others into a living friendship with Father through Jesus without the programmes and religious routines we go through. It seems that all that is counterproductive. Yet it’s taken us 1700 years to begin to recognise it.
Man is a religious animal, caged in his religious zoo, outside the Holy Spirit-breathed revelation that he’s a child of God whose birthright is freedom from slavery. Trouble is, so many of Father’s children still live as religious animals in their religious zoos.

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