Searching For Relevance

"Not So Funny Circus"

January 19, 2018

     This past week, Jeanne and I went to see the movie, “The Greatest Showman”.  It is an enjoyable musical about the early stages of P.T. Barnum’s circus.  Now, as a student of history, I realize that Barnum’s story is not as pleasant as the show portrays, however, the authors of this presentation share a powerful message within the context of an uplifting theme which, simply stated in the words of an old Sunday School song, “All God’s Critters Got A Place In The Choir.”  Despite our obvious and outward differences — in spite of our backgrounds or variations — each of us are “somebody” as a child of God, and as such, worthy of dignity and respect - characteristics noticeably on the decline in society these days.

     Maybe you were more fortunate than I, but I remember times in  my childhood of being bullied and teased by others.  Attacked and labeled by words that others though cute or funny.  Reporting this to my parents, I was told, “Sticks and stones my break your bones, but words can never harm you!”  A well intended offering by my mother, but a fallacy, nonetheless.  Words do hurt — in fact, they cut!  And if they are repeated often enough, we begin to accept them, both as our identity and, worse, an appropriate way to speak to, and about each other.  But, even as he gasped for life in his final hours on a cross, Jesus did not resort to attacking those around him, whether they were the soldiers standing guard, the spectators making jokes, or the thieves hanging beside him — rather, even then, he used words of compassion, forgiveness, and life.

     Jeanne and I left the theatre after viewing this movie, challenged and saddened, but hopeful that maybe . . . maybe, those who recognize the path of living Christ calls us to tread, is not one that is easy, but necessary.  Perhaps now, more than ever!  Because the greatest show on earth — the one truly needed — is not of our making or design, but God’s  — and no matter what we might face, it must go on!