"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.
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.
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.
Psalms 30, 31 or 42, 43
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