“Therefore go and make disciples
of all nations…” Matthew 28:19a
A story was once told about a traveling circus that caught fire. It was at the end of the night, just after the last performance was over and the crowds of people had gone home. It all started with a little flicker of flame or a small spark that no one noticed as it fell into the dry hay behind the massive circus tent. At first a bucket or two of water could have put it out, but no one was there to see the spark engulf the hay stack. The wind which was strong that night picked up more of those fiery sparks and blew directly towards the massive circus tent. By the time people began to notice the tent was engulfed in flames, more embers were being picked up by the wind and sent flying up and out, all about. Pretty soon nearby trailers, equipment and even the fields surrounding the circus were beginning to catch fire.
As the circus performers fought the flames and tried their best to save as much as possible, the circus owner realized that the wind was blowing the fire directly towards the nearby village. He knew since it was later in the night, the local people would all be asleep, not aware that the wind- driven flames were coming directly at them. So, he asked if any of the performers could go to the village and warn the people. One of the circus clowns, still in full costume and makeup, quickly answered that he would go. He jumped on his colorful bike that he often used in performances, and pedaled his way towards the sleeping village.
“Run for your lives! Run for your lives! A fire is coming and the village is going to burn!” he shouted as he rode up and down the streets of the village. “The village is going to burn! Run for your lives!”
Curious villagers startled by the shouting, started opening windows or coming out of their houses to see the sight of this mad pedaling clown speeding by shouting his warning. They began to shout back and laugh and cheer as he pedaled faster and faster around the village becoming more desperate to get them to hear his message. No one took him seriously and the village burned completely down, with great loss of property and life. No one listened; after all, he was just a clown.
We have a message of God’s salvation to share with a world that is being engulfed in a burning of pain, sorrow, and death. You have an advantage the clown did not, you are a member of the village. You have friends, neighbors, family members that you care about and cherish. Share the message of Christ with them. Pentecost comes this month, and we once again hear that the mission of the church is to go out into the world and share the message. That is not the Pastor alone in all his fancy costume, that is a mission for the people, for you. Go and share the message of Christ’s love.
In the peace and grace of God…. Pastor Kirk