This has been a very interesting week to say the least. It was filled with the normal ups and downs of ministry. There were the weekly comments and complaints, the occasional mention of the sermon, the running around. And there were some very special things, like discussing discipleship and baptism with a young adult, serving the community at the Shepherd’s Kitchen, the opportunity to pray for our students and time to enjoy the warm fall weather with my family at the lake one evening.
And then there were the clowns.
As my daughter was doing her homework, she had to read a story, fill in the blanks with the various “ou” and “ow” words, and in the end, guess the topic. The topic was “clown”.
She picked a movie to watch, “Air Bud”. The movie opens up with Bud, the gifted dog, being abused by his master – who happens to be a birthday party clown (not a very good one, at that).
But here is the weird part. All during this, I’m reading Facebook posts about a threat to our local school. A clown threat. And then, on Wednesday, at our weekly bible study, the first thing that was mentioned was the clowns.
The “creepy clown” threat has been going around the nation. Overall it is a hoax, but it is scaring people. And I understand this. Our nation is in a state of anxiety and fear. The presidential campaigns are hardly inspiring anyone – rather both major candidates are trying to out do one another with their attacks. There is still a lot of economic anxiety, wars and rumors of wars go on, there has been flooding all over the nation (and the world), and now the clowns.
This reminds me of another time in our nation’s history. The year was 1938; a madman was taking control of Germany, and beginning “blitzkrieg”. The world was in the Great Depression and governments were unstable. And a brilliant director and writer decided to entertain the nation on his radio broadcast. The director was Orson Welles and his acting troupe put on an updated, radio version of H.G. Wells classic novel The War of the Worlds. Except, no matter how many times the announcer said it was a play, the nation was in panic. People began to see Martian war machines all over the place. Fear and anxiety ruled the day. One person went as far as shooting a water tower – because he saw the Martian war machine.
In 1938 it was Martians. Today it is clowns. And my concern is that someone will act out – either dressing as a clown and doing real damage, or going clown hunting – ending someone’s life over a silly wig and nose.
Brothers and sisters, fear is the greatest weapon of the enemy. Fear causes us to do irrational things. Fear is a terrible way to live. But God’s word constantly says “do not be afraid.” God is in control and if we turn to God, if we join together in prayer, we can get beyond the fear – and enjoy the many blessings God has given us.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10