I watched all the passion and powerful energy around the football season this year. I have watched the most 3college football in years. “What if the church generated such passion?” I imagined a coach’s assessment at the end of the year. It went like this:
- (At the end of the year banquet) Great season, people. We had our MVPs and our Most Improved. It looks like we have a solid core back this year and that bodes well.
- We finished the year with a winning season. Of course, we had our losses, too. Some major leaders and talent have gone to the next level, which in the kingdom of God is heaven.
- We had some transfers to other teams, and more than a few injuries. In this league, the injuries
are harder to see. Quite a few have torn ACLs, (Attitudinal Christlikeness Lethargy) and more than a few are on suspension for inactivity.
- The most exciting news, though, is we had a great recruiting season. Gifted people everywhere you turn, at every position. And that’s good. We have more than a few seniors who are not far from graduation. They’ve kept the faith and fought the fight for a long time, and our lack of depth has been a real challenge, so they are happy to see these freshmen and sophomores coming in here to help. We need them to step up and help right away.
- We ought to be motivated to have a championship season. The big game every week comes when we file into the sanctuary and listen to the Lord’s word, re-tell the story of our team, and get inspired by the great heritage of saints. That’s our name, you know. The Saints. Not the New Orleans’ ones.
- And when we all execute our assignment we’ll win every time—blockers removing the obstacles out there and making way for the good news, passers sharing the gospel and kindness, practicing stewardship and pouring out blessings for the world, when our receivers go out and catch the ball and run for daylight, they carry the good news of the gospel to the world, to the lonely, the desperate and the hopeless.
- This year, we aren’t settling for a few measly points of improvement. We are going to the top. It’s silly for grown men to mope around for months over football games. We’re about real and eternal things.
- 8. No, the real championship is the Kingdom of God. Healing diseases, crushing poverty and injustice, helping the illiterate to read, telling the story of Jesus to those who don’t know it. Loving the unloved, working for reconciliation and forgiveness. I’m tired of being number one in football, obesity and high blood pressure. I’m ready to lead the nation in hope and the love of God and blessing little children everywhere.
- We have our opponent, of course. The Bible describes him as a roaring lion, seeking to devour us. Mostly that happens when we turn in on ourselves, or look at our troubles, or abandon hope and think we’re beaten. Or responding with hate and fear. Or worse, start blaming each other and sulking. Win together, lose together.
- If we believe in the One who called us here we can do it! Just believe in each other, do our assignments, don’t listen to the crowd and the critics, get up when we get knocked down, and always, always play the game with fearless confidence. Now let’s get out there, and when you walk into this arena of worship on Sunday, come dressed for the fight, come for a victory, come to praise and pray and go forth. And accept nothing less than the victory of God for everyone. YEAHHHHH!h