“We must not turn our religion into a circus as they did—“First the people partied, then they threw a dance.”1 Corinthians 10:6,7
I remember going to a small traveling circus as a kid, but can’t tell you much about it other than there was a tent, some animals, clowns, and trapezes acts. Today, while visiting in Sarasota, Florida, I went to the Ringling Museum with my friends, Liz and Frank. The history of the circus is captured in this museum through pictures, posters, costumes, equipment, circus wagons, and even the first railroad car used by John and Mable Ringling.
On a poster I read how the first circus-type events originated around 2000 BC – 1750 AD with chariot races and other competitions using animals and people. Over the past 200 years, the circus in America became an artistic display of feats performed by highly trained and skilled humans and animals. Large circuses needed over a thousand employees to set up, tear down, and keep the equipment working, to care for the animals, cook, clean, and perform. It’s no wonder once young men and women saw a circus they were tempted to run and become part of the glamour and excitement.
Apostle Paul warned the people of Corinth to not let religion turn into a circus. We tend to do the same today when we forget worship is the main event of a church, not the social activities that become a big part of the life of the church.
Lord, help us keep the church focused on worship instead of entertainment. Amen.