Saturday came, and the chores were done. The boy excitedly went to his father, who gave him a whole dollar to spend at the circus. The boy had never seen that much money before. He thanked his father and ran to town.
As he was nearing Main Street, he could hear music. When he arrived, he couldn't believe his eyes and ears. A marching band was coming down the street, followed by ladies standing up on horses. Next came the acrobats doing amazing tricks, followed by cages of lions and tigers. There were clowns juggling and playing pranks, and elephants walking in single file, one's trunk holding the tail in front of him. Next came a huge kaleidoscope pulled by two white horses. The music boomed from it as bright lights flashed on and off.
The boy stood open-mouthed at all of the wonders he saw pass by. Finally, when the entire circus has passed before his eyes, a man came with a wheelbarrow, a broom and a shovel to clean the street. They boy walked silently up to this man, handed him the dollar, and went home.
When his father asked him why he was home so quickly, the boy told him about all he had seen. The father asked how big the tent was, where he sat, and what he had to eat. The boy said there was no tent. There was no food. He just stood on the sidewalk.
His father said, "Oh, son. You didn't see the circus. All you saw was the parade. That isn't the real thing. All you saw was the advertisement."
Many of us go to church each week thinking that is the real thing. We give our money to see the show. But church is simply the advertisement. It's were we go to learn ABOUT what is real. Church is a great thing, but it won't save you. Only Jesus can do that.
Church is like the parade. You can see the real thing there, but to fully experience what the Truth, you need to go further. You need to go beyond watching Christianity go by. You need to follow Jesus. The good news is that He is waiting for you go come to Him. And He's already paid the price.