I want you to imagine that this (wherever the assembly is taking place) is a huge red/white striped tent, there is sawdust on the floor and the clowns have arrived. Where would we be - yes, at the Circus.
They say there is nothing like a circus. The excitement, the thrills, the laughs and the scary bits like the lions and the trapeze artists. I believe that life is like a circus and we all have a part to play in it. Let me explain.
Do you know any lions - people who open their mouths and roar; people who make a lot of noise about nothing?
Do you know any elephants - people who just lumber along, nose to tail, not really knowing or caring where they are going, following the person in front of them, going around in circles, with no purpose in life?
Do you know any trapeze artists - the risky ones? Do any of your friends take risks but then realise their mistakes and take the easy way out by dropping into the net?
What about the dogs who jump through the hoops at a command. I know several people who jump when told just because it's the thing to do and not necessarily because it is right.
What about the chimpanzees; there are probably some chattering, cheeky monkeys right here now.
And what about the clowns - we all know a joker don't we? Perhaps he or she is the comedian of the class: he might not wear a red nose, but he's a clown alright.
The big top is just like life. We are all in it. We can have the greatest show on earth or an all out flop. After all it is the circus acts that make up the circus.
Now there is one very special person that I have not mentioned yet. He is the link-man: the ring master himself: we all have a right master - GOD.
A ring master announces the acts and then steps back into the wings to watch the acts perform. He is always there but never seen until each act finishes and he announces the next. This is what God does in our Big Top - ion our lives. He stands back in the wings and watches our acts. Then ring master will appear if anybody needs help and that is what God does. He will step forward and help you to correct and choose your act.
Not all circus acts are star attractions. Sometimes they can be boring and repetitive. We know, for example, that someone will get wet when the clowns appear. But some acts make it to the top. They have sparkle, they have star quality. They know how to do the right things to please the crowd and the ring master.
Are you a star act? Is your life sparkling? Do you do the right things to please people? Are you prepared to change and upgrade your act?
There are many people in the Bible who did not have a star act but were prepared to ask for help. Remember the leper.
Read Mark 1:40-45
Not a star act, in fact people would go out of their way not to see him. He was an outcast. He asked for help from Jesus and was cured - that's got to be top billing!
Even Jesus himself was prepared to ask for help from his Father in the Garden of Gethsemane, in order to have the courage and strength to fulfil his mission on earth.
Read Mark 14: 32-36
Jesus left us a few tips on how to achieve star quality.
- Love they neighbour - be prepared to trust people and work together like the trapeze artists.
- Have a laugh, but know when to stop. Don't carry on making jokes at the expense and feelings of others. Don't always be the clown.
- Think about what you say - will it hurt somebody? Would you like someone to say that to you. Don't just roar like a lion. Have a purpose in what you say.
- Don't just lumber along; don't follow the person in front of you. Plan what you are going to do. Use your talents wisely.
God announced you on the day you were born and it is up to you which act you follow. If your life has not got star quality perhaps it is time you called your ring master. Remember God is always in the wings watching you in the circus of life.
Read Psalm 119: 27-32
Help me to understand your laws
And I will meditate on your wonderful teachings
I am overcome by sorrow
Strengthen me, as you have promised
Keep me from going the wrong way
And in your goodness teach me your law
I have chosen to obedient
I have paid attention to your judgements
I have followed your instructions Lord
Don't let me be put to shame
I will eagerly obey your commands
Because you will give me more understanding
If we do as this psalm requests and we ask God to teach and show us how to obey his commands we will definitely be "star acts" in God's eyes. These are the guidelines to achieving our best.
One of the ways we can be a "star act" is by putting our hands to good use. We can use these for writing and achieving good presentation, good essays and doing our best in all subjects.
We can put them to good use by offering them in friendship to someone who needs our help. We can, by our actions, help people in many different ways.
As we sing the hymn try to concentrate on the words. In the circus of life how can you bring God's teachings to others by the use of your hands.
Be a STAR ACT TODAY!
Hymn: Take my hands