Popcorn, crackerjacks or nuts,” called out the lone voice in a vast crowd.
It was a rather unusual statement, seeing as the crowd had gathered to hear Fidel Castro. The location was Cuba.
Castro didn’t even blink but carried on talking.
“Popcorn, crackerjacks or nuts” came the cry again. This time, Castro betrayed a small flicker of frustration with the voice, yet he carried on.
“Popcorn, crackerjacks or nuts!” came the shout again.
This time, Castro showed more than a passing frustration. “Whoever says that again,” he bellowed “will receive a kick that will launch him the whole way to Florida!”
The whole crowd cried: “Popcorn, crackerjacks or nuts!”
Sometimes, I think Church can be like that crowd (speaking as a preacher) and the preachers like Castro.
We go on and on about differing things and people are wondering about the reality of what we preach.
I have found the times when people give me their greatest attention is when I talk about the reality of God.
Despite the apparent strides of militant atheism and secularism in our society, we still have not lost our longing for something bigger than this world, something beyond us, something God-like.
I remember hearing a story of a young lad who made great claims about not believing in God.
He was travelling in the car with some friends when they hit a patch of ice. The car spun slightly, nothing serious, and came to rest on the footpath.
The young lad, as the car spun, had quite loudly and seriously cried out: “God Help me!”
Now, some will say surely this is just a cultural condition, we were brought up that way! Others may say “Ugh – science hasn’t yet found the answer to this, but there will be one!”
Talk about blind faith! No, as Christians we believe there is something bigger, greater and completely different from us, not only out there, but with us here.
The Bible describes to us a God who not only made us, but who pursued us when we rebelled against Him.
A God who took upon Himself the punishment for our Sins and died on a cross for us. A God who came back from the dead and who is eternally alive forever!
Now, the reason God did all this was because of His great love for us, His desire that we should know Him, that we should have that gaping longing in our lives filled.
Still not sure about all this? I challenge you this week to take up a Bible, start reading one of the Gospels (Luke is a good one) and see if you can get around Him.
Be brave enough to ask God to speak to you through the Bible.