Small town fairs bring out the good in people. Between the volunteers, the unhealthy food, and the games the kids can play while the adults ‘’catch up’’, not many things bring people together like it!
I’ve been reading a book called Jesus > Religion by Jefferson Bethke (highly recommend) and he challenges this notion that you don’t need religion to find Jesus. This idea, that when we focus on Jesus nothing else matters, was the outline of the sermon given at the citywide church service that ended our Tri-county Fair. The church service was put on by the three local Protestant churches and is a tradition almost as old as the fair itself. Three churches that differ from each other slightly, except when it comes to one thing; Jesus.
The sermon went like this:
A woman wanted to leave the church. She approached her pastor and told him this and he asked why. “The children are always on their phones, not paying attention. There is a group of women who are gossiping during Sunday school. There are drunks and people who are obviously sinning and I don’t want to be around that,” the woman said. The pastor thought awhile and said, “You may leave only after you walk around the church three times holding this glass of water and not dropping a single drop. Once you have done that, you can choice what you would like to do”. The woman grabbed the glass, walked around the church without dropping any water, and returned to the pastor. After she returned the pastor asked her, “While you were walking, did you notice children on their phones?”. The woman answered no. “Did you notice a group of women gossiping?”. The woman answered again, no. The pastor smiled and said, “You didn’t see any of that because you were focused on the glass of water”.
Now, I’m not going to say I got that entirely correct. As a matter of fact, I know I missed some parts. But, like the story, I understood the big picture.
Jesus is the big picture.
The church is kinda like a small-town fair. Some things are broken down, and there are people who have ‘nothing else better to do’. But when you focus on the love that is put in, the overwhelming beauty of it all, you come to realize that it is so much bigger than you. It’s bigger than the surface problems. He is the reason we should go to church. Talking about Him, learning about Him is what is important. Luckily, we don’t NEED to go to church to feel Jesus. But when we focus on Him and how AWESOME He is, a church is one of the few places where we get to be intimate with Him.
So what are you focusing on? What are you looking at?