Saturday, January 21, 2012

"I Love a Parade!"

John 4:29-30
"Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?" They came out of the town and made their way toward him.

As a child, I love parades. I never miss watching Macy's Thanksgiving Day or the Rose Bowl Parades on television.

And, I'm thrilled beyond measure when my parents take us to downtown Atlanta to watch the annual Fourth of July Parade with all its bands, floats, and celebrities.

The music of the marching bands is so stirring! The ornamental float so inviting!

I long to ride on one. To sit right on top, waving to the cheering crowds as I pass by.

Lost in a daydream, I envision myself in a flowing gown with a glittering gold and diamond tiara perched on my head. Smiling and nodding to the thousands of admirers who line the street. Adored by everyone . . .

Fortunately, I outgrow this delusion!

To this day, I have never participated in a holiday parade. But, both my children have.

In the rural Georgia town where my parents have retired, they host a Fourth of July Parade which passes right in front of their house. Two different years, Grandpa helps my son, Daniel, and daughter, Sarah, decorate their bicycles with red, white, and blue bunting and American flags so they can join the throng.

Everyone in the community is invited to join in. But, participants must sport the national colors.

And, smile.

And, wave.

Grandpa drives them to the starting point of the parade. Gets them in their places. Shows them whom to follow. Cautions them not to pass, even if the pace slows.

Their Nana and I wait at the house, anxious for the parade to start, eager to see my children in it.

For what seems like an eternity in the blazing July sun, we view the festive procession.

Uncle Sam, the Grand Marshall, leads the way in a mule-drawn wagon. (Did I mention, we are in the south?)

Behind him come the tractors. Police cars. Fire trucks. Floats from local churches and businesses. Shriners in fez caps riding their absurdly delightful motor scooters and go-carts.

And, of course, the local politicians. Is any parade complete without them?

But, no sign yet of Daniel and Sarah.

"Oh, wait, I see them!" I say. "Right behind the John Deere float!"

Sure enough. Here they come. Pedaling, waving, smiling. And, sweating!

They veer off the parade path to join us.

"That was so much fun!" Declares Daniel.

"Mom, you have to do this with us next year," Sarah says, giving me a hug.

"I just might do that," I tell her. "I just might . . .
~
I see a parade of people in today's scripture, excitedly following the Samaritan woman who has brought them marvelous news. As they process, they call and invite anyone and everyone along their route to join them. To come and see for themselves the man who is the Messiah.

The Christ.

Our Savior.

And, the Grand Marshall who leads us in this parade called Life.

Are you inviting others to join in His parade? To follow Him?

Will you pray with me?
We thank you, Father, for sending Your Son, our Savior, to lead us and guide us, to love and forgive us. Help us to let others know that His invitation to join in His parade is open to all. Let us march together in Christian unity and love. Amen.

Readings
Psalms 30, 31 or 42, 43
Genesis 12:9-13:1
Hebrews 7:18-28
John 4:27-42

10 comments:

  1. I love a parade too :D What a truly fine question Martha ~ I asked myself if I did draw people to participate in this parade or have I left them as mere spectators to the wonders they are seeing.

    I pray with you.

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  2. Parades are great. :) May we all participate and join in the celebratory journey towards truth and love and light...Jesus leading the way.

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    1. Hi, Jessica! Thanks so much for stopping by!
      Yes, may we all join in the grandest parade of all - the one lead by our Lord and Savior!
      Blessings to you!

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  3. Hi, Melissa! Great to see you here as always!
    So glad you liked this question. It is a human tendency to just march along and assume we are attracting others to our faith. We can all afford to be more pro-active.
    Blessings!

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  4. You see it all the time, people who go through life as spectators, never getting off the sidelines to participate in the game of life. They are content to watch the progress of others, contributing little more than their own commentary when they need to take action.We’ve all had our moments. Those times when we wish we had done better or taken another route. But you’re still alive, so grab some real life before the game is over.I have done it time and again,but I do believe there is still time...

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  5. Thanks for stopping by, Alpana, and leaving such a marvelous comment.
    Yes, I agree, life is NOT a spectator sport. It's all hands on deck! Too many of us are sitting on our hands instead of using them to accomplish good works in our lives and in the lives of others.
    And, there is still time . . . :)
    Blessings!

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  6. Your hometown parades sound alot like those here with the colorful floats and shriners zipping around on their go-carts. The shriners and their floats were among my faves growing up. Love that you have a Nana, our family had a Nana too :) Unfortunately I haven't done enough to attract folks to the parade of God, as with many aspects of my life I keep my religious beliefs to myself. Thanks for another great post!!

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    1. Hi, David, and thanks so much for dropping by today and taking time to comment.
      Yes, I had a "Nana" and so did my kids as that's the moniker my mom opted for.
      Oh, and those shriners! They used to cut wheelies and do all sorts of daredevil stunts at the crossroads in the parade where my parents' house sits. I laughed so hard, I cried! Sadly, someone who thought this risky behavior reported it to the powers that be, so no more showing off for the Shriners . . .
      Maybe, David, you sell yourself short on attracting others to Christ's parade. You may have been a witness in more ways than you know. If not, then, there's food for thought and room to grow - so, practice with that go-cart! :)
      Blessings to you!

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  7. I just love the way you put your stories together with the scriptures. This is a wonderful story...

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  8. Hello Martha.
    This post reminds me of Carnival in the Caribbean where they dress up in elaborate costumes & go dancing through the streets to the music of steel pans. As kids, with adult supervision, we were allowed to follow the processions. I remember how much fun we used to have walking, dancing, "jumping up" (like they say in the Islands) until we were so tired we had to be carried back home. Those days are long gone for me now, as I have matured & my goals & outlook in life are much different to that time.

    Enjoyed reading this post.
    Thanks for sharing & visiting.

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