We live in a wonderous land here in the United States of America! I know that may not be your first thought if you don’t live here–or perhaps even if you do! ha!–but it is still the truth. Why? Because we can still worship publicly as well as privately here. Case in point? Last Saturday, I headed out to our small town’s main thoroughfare to take some photos of (wait for it!)…a “Praise Parade”. Yes, a Praise Parade which included both civic and military color guards, dignitaries, clowns, church buses, a peppy band of young musicians, “exotic” cars, motorcycles and parents walking/carrying/pushing strollers with smiling children who were having the time of their young little lives throwing candy to those of us on the sides of the street. (My first offering was a piece of grape Double Bubble–my first in many years!) There were representatives from several churches, a few local businesses, and a float in the shape of a giant roller skate!
All of this wound it’s way through our little town to a small city park where there were booths for churches, food, face painting, music, an exhibition from the local martial arts group, jumpers for the kids and a great number of smiling people who were more concerned about having fun and focusing on their common ground of faith than they were about the dark clouds rolling in or the fact that there were people of multiple cultures who might not completely agree with them on every little issue–theological or otherwise. It was, in short, an opportunity for grace and laughter, shared joy and though it wasn’t a very big parade, it had a big heart because everyone there seemed ready to celebrate the heart of God and all He has done for each of us.
No, I’m not challenging you to organize a Praise Parade in your home town. I am challenging you to remember how very blessed you are–no matter where you live!–and to take (or MAKE!) the opportunities this weekend to be public with your praise of the One Who Loves You Best.
So many people around the world do NOT have this privilege! In many cases, they’re even dying for it! We can’t take this freedom for granted any longer. Other people are watching and they’re waiting to hear more about what He’s doing in your life. Make sure you praise Him this weekend…the parade is optional.
Grace & Peace!