Monday, September 29, 2014

Playing to the Crowd

Crowds have this effect on people.  Whether it’s the crazy faces people make as they snap their “selfies” or the bizarre antics the moment they realize they are on the big screen of a sports stadium, crowds can cause us to say and do strange things.

I have little friend named Kate.  Kate is about 11 months old and the source of many smiles for us.  She surprised us all when she started walking at about 9 months, then rapidly proceeded from walking to running to…dancing.  The other day her mom sent us a video of Kate moving to tunes coming from Pandora.  I got this big smile as I watched her rhythm; many kids aren’t walking at her age.  In the middle of the video, Kate's mom gave away the fact that she was dancing in front of an iPhone.  Rather than shut down in embarrassment, Kate broke into a wide smile and turned up the force of her jiggle.  “All the world’s a stage,” said some guy named Will.  
I wrote most of this post while sitting in front of a football game at my brother’s house.  I don’t watch sports very much and this experience caused me to reflect on how the players on the field do their job to be seen by others.  A couple years back, an NFL quarterback seemed more interested in what God thought about him than he was about the people who cheered for his team.  A lot of fans didn’t like it.  
So, is it okay when little Kate gets excited in front of a camera?  How about when a wide receiver makes a spectacular catch and the crowd goes wild?  Neither scenario seems at all unusual or critical.  But, is there a danger in living our lives to be seen by others?   Jesus obviously thought so and he had a point.  Crowds are fickle by their very nature.  What happened to the popularity of that star football player whose most famous video is not some stupendous play on the field, but the very ugly behavior toward his wife in an elevator?  In simplicity, doing good works to be seen and applauded by others limits the favor of the One who will love us even when we stumble or behave badly.
Jesus had much to say on this subject and we will learn from His words this weekend at Stone Ridge Church.  I hope you can be with us.  Can’t make it?  Catch the podcast

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