During Hockey Playoff season, millions of Canadians are glued to their televisions, smartphones or tablets, watching all the events. Many fans paint their faces in the colours of their favourite teams, and others wear jerseys, even if they are only watching the games in their living rooms. Some go as far as being tattooed in honour of their favourite athlete. Sports stores can’t keep souvenirs stocked. Those Canadians with the financial means fly thousands of miles and spend thousands of dollars on hotel rooms and tickets to watch games in person. Every time a home team wins a crucial hockey game, jubilant fans pour out into the streets, jumping up and down like wild men. Hockey fanatics broadcast their allegiance and pride through social media. Strangers high-five each other in local pubs and party into the wee small hours. Living on a busy street in a big hockey town, I have laid awake more times than I can count as exuberant fans drive down the road, flags flying, horns blaring in celebration of a win.
Now, before I get angry emails from my fellow Canadians, let me state that I would never begrudge anyone the joy of watching a good hockey game and celebrating after a win.
However, let’s get real here. In 2014, Team Canada won gold at the Sochi Olympic Games. The nation went wild. Even those who were not Hockey fans wore red and white jerseys with great pride for a few days in honour of that win. Now that it is several years after that gold medal game, I doubt anyone remembers the score. The winning goal provided a couple of days of giddy happiness that quickly dissipated. Our lives quickly returned to normal. The problems we were facing before that big game were still there.
Over 2000 years ago, Jesus Christ was born. Thirty-three years later, He died for our sins and then rose from the dead. One solitary man, one glorious King. The world changed forever when that stone rolled away to reveal an empty tomb. Christ’s victory over death saved countless lives. By the power of His name, millions of hearts continue to be restored, millions of marriages have been and continue to be saved, and madmen are stopped in their tracks. Slaves are set free; addictions are broken, lives are transformed.
Why don’t Christians wear the colours of their Hero as blatantly as sports fans wear the colours of their favourite athletes? Why can’t others identify where we place our allegiance just by looking at us? Why aren’t we bragging about the exploits of our God in the same way we brag about the goal made by our favourite team? If we can scream ourselves hoarse over a little disk of rubber bouncing against a net of fabric, why can’t we proclaim the exploits of our eternal Victor?
Lord, help us to be bold in shouting out our praises to You, the King of Kings, our Deliverer, Redeemer, Saviour, and best friend. May we wear our team colours boldly on our countenance and through our actions and speech.
“Too many churches today are devoid of the Spirit of Pentecost because they are dry and stale, where people are in a stupor; where worship services are wooden and so scripted that they are hollow; where the preaching is dull and flat; where the singing is Geritol-tired and without the vim and vigor which speaks of a crucified, died and risen Lord, where if anyone taps his foot and says, “Amen”, he is stared into silence, and if anyone shouts, “Thank you, Jesus!” the people call the EMS or 911!” – Stewart Carlyle Fielding. How Long Will You Limp?, Lima, CSS Publishing Company, 1997.
Do you believe that public emotional expressions of our devotion to Christ should be quelled? Do you secretly look at joyous displays of unadulterated worship to be overemotional or hype? I suggest the following Bible passages to you for further study. There are plenty more, but these will get you started.
- 2 Samuel 6:16-23 At one point, Michal loved David deeply. Things quickly went south when she showed open disdain at David’s wholehearted expression of worship as the Ark of the Covenant was carried into Jerusalem. She lost the affection of her husband that day and became barren and fruitless, leaving no legacy.
- Matthew 26:6-13 The woman who broke the alabaster box full of precious anointing oil over Jesus. This oil was costly and precious, usually kept for preparing a body for burial. The disciples were indignant at the waste and protested to Jesus who rebuked them, declaring her sacrifice was a beautiful thing.
- Luke 19:37-40 Jesus responded to His critics who denounced the exuberant rejoicing of the crowds. “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” Don’t let a rock outdo you in shouting out the praises of our King. Don’t be afraid to let the world know just what team to whom you swear your allegiance!
All Bible references, unless otherwise stated, are from the English Standard Version. (ESV)
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Until Next Week
©2018 Katherine Walden
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