The Greater Showman
I was suspicious at first. A musical about a circus? But its message isn’t really about that.
The Greatest Showman is about people who are fools in the world’s eyes – outcasts who nevertheless find a positive identity.
In contrast to worshipping Love Island’s flawless contestants, this is a celebration of the unattractive 'freaks’.
The Greatest Show on Earth
Keala Settle’s lyrics capture the message well;
I’m not scared to be seen; I make no apologies, this is me.
So many of us are not true to ourselves. Perhaps by being something we're not in order to fit in and look the same as the rest.
Or when we say 'I can be whoever I choose to be' and forget that God has a good design for us.
Both paths enslave us. But this film puts forward something different – a celebration of the ‘freaks’, the outcasts who are chasing neither agenda.
Which is what makes The Greatest Showman great - but only in as much as it’s a faint echo of the greatest show on earth.
Outsiders Brought In
Look at Jesus. He lifted up the outcasts of society in the face of scorn. He gave up all the privileges of heaven to do so (Philippians 2:6-8). He was like the greatest showman but better.
Paul writes about Jesus’ followers;
God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. (1 Corinthians 1:26-27)
They don't necessarily fit the social norm. But they’re free to enjoy their unique identities because their first identity is defined by Jesus’ liberating love (John 8:32).
Do you ever feel our churches have a ‘Christian culture’? Are we all the same? Do people who seem different feel just as much a part of God's family?
Let’s pray that our churches begin to look more like a circus of different people all gathered around the one King and his rescue of outcasts and sinners.