It Was a Good Show, Wasn't It?

by Stan Mitchell
“I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire” (Matthew 3:11), ESV.
John and Beth couldn’t wait to go to church that morning. They had spent several days in this metropolitan area doing business, but they had also wanted to go to church in that Mega Church they had heard so much about. They had seen the preacher on TV, and now they would be able to see him live!
As they entered the gargantuan building, they saw a life size picture of the famous preacher in the foyer, microphone in hand. In the spectacular auditorium was a jumbotron in the front, the big man’s picture prominent.
The build-up was professional, with solos and teasers leading to the moment when the great man would stand and address the crowd. Finally the moment came, and the crowd held their breath.
He was vivid and dramatic, he wept, he massaged, he cajoled the crowd, and they enjoyed every moment, laughing at his well-placed jokes.
As they filed out, John whispered to Beth: “It was a good show, wasn’t it?”
It struck her as a funny way to describe a worship service.
And it bothered her. Why was it that their enduring impression of worship that day was the messenger, not the message, the speaker and not the Savior? Somehow she couldn’t imagine that man, in his eight hundred dollar Armani suit, carrying Jesus’ sandals. It wasn’t that his talents were misplaced, she reflected, just that his presence obscured the reality of another.

One Reply to “It Was a Good Show, Wasn't It?”

  1. Wow. What a wonderfully short, concise message to identify such a profound and frequent weakness. You are so right. How often does a preacher deliver his sermon and the only comments about the lesson concern a memorable joke or two? Thanks, brother. Back to the Bible always works.

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