Well, I finally did it. It may not be such a big deal to some of you, but it is to me. In 2017, the movie, “The Greatest Showman” was released. I heard all of the “great” reviews from people who loved the movie...but despite that, I really didn’t care to see the movie.
It is about the life of P.T. Barnum (yes, of circus fame). From what I knew of P.T. Barnum, he was “The Greatest CON-man,” but not “The Greatest Showman.” I had heard that he once said, “There is a sucker born every minute,” and I didn’t want to know more about a man like him. (As it turns out, apparently a banker who was doing business with P.T. Barnum actually voiced the phrase, not P.T. Barnum.)
I’m sort of glad we purchased the DVD and that I watched this movie. If the movie is an accurate portrayal of P.T. Barnum, and there is ample evidence to believe it was fairly accurate (with some liberties taken, of course), then P.T Barnum is a man about whom I WOULD like to know more.
Without giving away too much of the movie, after he has lost everything, naturally he is feeling depressed. Then his troupe of “oddities” (circus performers) shows up and tell him that all their lives people had been ashamed of them...even their own parents...because they were “different.” But that he had brought them all together and they had become a family...and they were going to stick together no matter what.
And that is just what Jesus has done for us! We are all imperfect people with, at best, a checkered past. We’ve all made mistakes; we’ve all faced people who “shamed” us for whatever it was that made us different.
But Jesus called us all together to form, not a circus troupe, but a church. We are still not perfect. There are still some who see us as “oddities” and would just as well spit on us (literally or figuratively) as look at us.
Yet now we have a home. Now we have a family. Now we have all that we need. So now we can be proud of who we are and what we have become. ..and of the pilgrimage we are making through this world.
Now, we need to go out and find others who share that same need. Maybe they are “odd” maybe they are “normal.” But they all have a need to belong to the family of God!
I have a confession and an apology to make. Those of you with birthdays in the month of March have not received my traditional birthday cards. There haven’t been that many...so maybe that’s why I thought I’d wait and do them “later.”
Most of the time I try to do them during the last week of the month before (when we have singing on Sunday night, so I only have one sermon to prepare).
But I’ve been so busy lately that, well, I just haven’t gotten around to doing them. Then, when I check the calendar, I realize I’ve missed another couple of birthdays. So I think to myself, “OK, you need to at least get the ones for next week done,” and before I know it, I’ve (not) done it again!
I’m hoping to get them done for the last week in March (but it may be easier to come up with excuses as to why I didn’t get them done). For those of you I missed (be in the past and/or in the future), I sincerely apologize.
How often are our good intentions matched by our inability to follow through with those intentions? We want to do something nice for someone...but other things always pile up and get in the way.
The cards I send out are small things...but they are good things. Several people have told me that it was the first time any preacher sent them a birthday card.
The simple truth is that I let other things (good and some not as good) keep me from following through with my good intentions.
When Paul was urging the Corinthians to give generously, he notes that they had good intentions. In 2 Corinthians 8:11 he writes, “So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have.”
Even though he is writing about a financial gift they had eagerly promised, I think it can be applied to all of our good intentions: our intentions should be matched by our completion of those intentions.
I think I’ll start working on some cards now!
About this week's Dye-a-logue:
This week's article was about some events happening with the Eastgate church of Christ. If you'd like to read it, please go to the "Bulletins" tab above, then to "2019 bulletins" and you can read it there or on the March 17, 2019 pdf file.
I guess I knew it could happen, but I just forgot. I guess I knew what I was supposed to do to prevent it, but I just didn’t do it.
I guess I just waited too long to think about the consequences of not doing what I was supposed to do...because I knew it would happen.
So when they started talking about the latest “snow-pocalypse” to hit Northwest Arkansas late last week, I decided to do something about it.
I was going to pull the car that Rachel drives out from under the carport and park it just off the street so that both cars that Monica and I drive would be ready to go without any de-icing necessary.
Well, her car has been sitting protected by the carport and idle for around two months...some of you see where this is heading. When I tried to start it, nothing happened. No click, no ignition, no nothing (the electric door locks didn’t even work!).
I know that if you let a car sit for too long, the battery will go dead. I knew I should have taken the time to start it every so often so that the battery would recharge...I guess I just got too busy with other things to worry about it. So now, the battery is deader than a door nail.
Spiritually speaking, we need to recharge our batteries. When we decide that we “just aren’t going to attend this week,” it drains our battery.
When we make a habit of not attending “because we have something better (or more fun, or more important, etc.) to do,” our spiritual battery quickly loses all of it’s charge.
Then, before we even know what happened, we try to start our “spirituality” and find that the battery is deader than a door nail.
Perhaps your spiritual battery is depleted. If so, let someone know you need a little jump start. We’ll be glad to help.
Perhaps you know someone in need of a spiritual jump start? Will you provide the help they need?
By the way, does anyone have any jumper cables I could borrow?