February 26, 2005

Send in the Clowns

I don't get it.

Every Saturday, the local paper has ads for area churches. Today, one church's ad invited people to come to worship at 10:30 Sunday morning to see ... juggling. The famous juggling family will amaze you at our 10:30 worship! Watch them juggle for Christ! Bring your friends!

I guess it's something to consider. I'd never thought of having a circus act to draw people in. I wonder if there are any jugglers in my congregation. Or maybe someone can swallow a sword--the sword of truth, perhaps. Or maybe we can get some dancing poodles. Or someone who can chop through a pile of bricks with their forehead; instead of leaving our heads at the door, we can bring them in and bash them to pieces.

Is this why Jesus did all those miracles? Come watch, as two loaves of bread becomes enough to feed thousands! Be amazed as a man born blind from birth gains his sight! Listen to the man who can tell you everything about your life! And then, once we got your attention, let us invite you to follow him.

I can see the future of evangelism taking shape. Act now, and we'll throw in this free onion slicer; a 12.95 value, it's yours free if you come tomorrow at 10:30!... Contribute to our offering at the $50 level, and you'll get a handsome church mug, perfect for that morning cup of Jesus java.... Join our Sunday school class, and we'll give you a free Jesus bobblehead.

The jugglers, I'm sure, will draw a big crowd. I just don't know why. I don't really understand the process by which a person chooses a church based on things like that, or even who has the best technological gizmos like powerpoint images during the sermon. I don't think I could ever preach a sermon that has coordinating powerpoint images shown on a screen. I don't mean to criticize those who do, it's just not my thing.

All I want is to tell you a story about Jesus, to journey with you to a deeper understanding of God, and to invite you to join me in a meaningful encounter with God at the communion table. No juggling acts, no dancing poodles, and no awkward moments of frustration while I try to figure out why the screen projection system isn't cooperating.

I hope that's not too much to ask.

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