Sports fans are a funny lot
Christians are a funny lot –
they spend ages clapping, singing and chanting. They visit their place of worship once and often twice a week. They think that the money they spend on their religion is well spent and will travel many miles following their religion. They know their book of rules inside out. If things aren't going their way, then they pray for a better result. -
No hang on, I'm thinking of sports fans!
How interesting that behaviour considered normal in one setting is considered strange in another?
How important is sport really?
For some fans, their sport becomes their religion and the stadium their place of worship. Indeed for some it is the most important thing in their lives and their whole week can be affected by how their team played at the weekend. Perhaps we can then understand the quote attributed to the legendary football manager Bill Shankly of Liverpool FC. In commenting on the importance of football Shankly said, “Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.”
For British football clubs their aim is to get into the Premier League and they gain promotion from lower leagues to get there. In The Salvation Army when someone dies they are said to have been Promoted to Glory. What a wonderful expression and an acknowledgement that there is no greater place to be when our life on this earth comes to an end. They are then truly in the Premier League, having played their part in Team Jesus.
It's not the winning that's important
Now while we are not all gifted enough to play for our favourite football team, those with a real interest will often find a team that they can fit into. They play for the joy, not just to win. Sometimes we think that we're not good enough to be a Christian, but God simply asks that we believe in Jesus as His son and try to live our lives according to His example. Live by the rules of the game, if you like.
More than anything God wants us to be players, not spectators. Why not get in training to join Team Jesus?