As one who likes his holidays in order, September 14 was rather early to see Santa making his rounds and keeping an eye on everyone. That was a sentiment that was shared by many as we visited downtown Baraboo spreading holiday cheer, yet you don’t have to wear a red velvet suit or carry a sack of toys to be Santa Claus to someone in need. If you think about it, there are hundreds of little ways and chances for us to be shining lights of hope for one another, especially during tough times. We can give money, sure, but we can also give our time, love, attention, creativity, or even just a shoulder of support. If you were to ask me, those are gifts we need to give and receive all year long.
As I sit on the ring curb at the American Clown Academy, my devotions lead us to Matthew 8: 19-23.
Matthew 8:19-23 ~ Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.” Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him.(NIV)
We read the story of two men who came to enlist as voluntary disciples, they thought they were ready to make such a commitment, but as was always the case Jesus knew what was in
each man’s mind. Jesus’ answers force them to face aspects of discipleship they hadn’t considered.
As I meditate on the passage my mind is drawn back to the students here are at the American Clown Academy. They want to succeed in clowning, travel the world in the circus train, and become rich and famous, much like the disciples here in Matthew 8.
Jesus’ answer to the first man, had to do with expectations. Jesus warned him that his followers could not expect comfortable accommodations on the journey. Any enlistee that came expecting frills and thrills would be sadly disappointed. Much in the same way students here have been surprised by the rustic accommodations of the camp we stay at, as well as the stories of living the hard life on the road.
Jesus’ answer to the second man had to do with the need for the followers to put their commitment to him first before human ties. This follower was signed up for service at a later time, but not now.
Some of our students desire to succeed in clown and they want to achieve it today, without all the hard work required to grow and perfect their craft. Person who intended to become follows of Jesus should do so today and not too wait for any reason. They should also know the cost and commitment of following Him.
When these conversations are held in Matthew 8, following Jesus included literally physically walking with him. Today, following Jesus is different, yet much the
same. Like becoming a great clown, succeeding at any area of your life, and most importantly serving Christ, commitment must be full, unconditional and without reservations. We must trust him
a savior and serve Him is Lord.
May we be able to say ”Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go!”