Last Thursday some of us participated in that great event: Senior Day at the Texas State Fair. We met up at the Hampton Rd DART Park and Ride, bought our $2.50 senior all day DART passes and traveled on the Red line to the Akard Station, switched to the Green Line and rode to the Fair. As we got closer, the train became more crowded. From Akard we stood and used hand straps or bars to keep our balance. The ride was smooth and if we were jostled we just bumped into some nice person who joked with us about the crowd on the train.
As first-timers, this was all new to Gale and me. We got our senior passes, bought coupons to pay for rides and food, and started the trek to see Big Tex.
Even though it was midmorning there were already folks in line for Fletcher’s Corny Dogs. Gale and I were instructed by the more experienced in our party; “Thou shalt eat a Fletcher’s Corny Dog at the Fair”. Apparently this is written in the Gospel of Texas along with, “If lost, find Big Tex and wait for the rest of the group.”
We tried to see everything. We tried to taste new things. We spent time in the animal barns and watched an excellent horse demonstration. We saw an amazing butter sculpture and looked at stuff that won red, blue and purple ribbons. We heard multiple languages as folks from other countries explored the fair all around us.
We ate too much, got funnel cake powdered sugar all over ourselves, and had a great time getting worn out. We found a friendly stranger to take a photo of our group and clambered back on DART to ride back to our cars.
Recently our sermons have come from scriptures in Matthew’s Gospel following Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem on the last week of his life. He was surrounded by his disciples. They were rural guys from the sticks finding their way in the big city. It was Passover. The city had the atmosphere of holiday, carnival, religion, and bazaar. There were crowds everywhere, many of whom spoke other languages and some of whom arrived on the DART camel caravan. Street vendors were hawking everything from food and fabric to doves while money lenders offered specials on coupons for Senior Day at the Temple.
The disciples, big-eyed in the big city saw the sights, elbowed each other and pointed out the amazing things around them. They just couldn’t get over the magnificence of the temple. They even pointed it out to Jesus (Matt. 24:1). Wow! We can imagine how they felt. Crowds. Noise. Sights to gawk at. The best animals for sacrifice. An atmosphere of holiday, carnival, religion, and bazaar. A little “Ooooh”, a little “Aaahhh.”
But Jesus had his mind on other things. He wasn’t interested in animals for sacrifice or trinkets or food. The Midway didn’t grab him. He bypassed the butter sculpture and didn’t stop for a picture with Big Tex. He saw what we miss: the corruption of leadership, the heartbreaking needs of destitute people, the struggle for true health care, the gap between those who have more than enough and those who can’t subsist or support their families. He knows what is in the hearts of people and he knows what is in the heads of people and his heart breaks over the resistance to God in both hearts and heads.
He didn’t come for the sights. He didn’t come to show us around. He came to show us the way, the truth, and the life. He didn’t come as a tourist. He came as the Son of God
Rev. Marcia Hagee
She graduated from Duke University and the University of Missouri-Columbia studying Psychology and Religion. She earned her M. Div at Phillips Theological Seminary and was ordained by the Oklahoma Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).