Saturday, September 26, 2009

I'm sure I'm not the first pastor that's thought about this, but it's Saturday morning and I'm watching College GameDay on ESPN and it occurs to me again - how do our college football teams inspire the passion, loyalty, energy and time commitment we give them; and why can't churches do the same?

Think about it - we go crazy for our college football teams. We set aside an entire day every Saturday (not just an hour) to travel (often more than an hour or two), tailgate, watch the game and hopefully celebrate our victory. And even if we're not traveling to our team's game, we're camped in front of our televisions with friends and family and lots of good food, wearing our colors and screaming as if the coaches and players can hear us from our living rooms. I know lots of homes where entire rooms are decorated in their team colors year round (and, come on, Clemson fans: purple and orange are not in anyone's design guides as good choices - you do it purely for the love of your team).

Now, I'm not criticizing. I get up on Saturday's and put on my Richmond gear, Auburn gear or Duke gear depending on who has the biggest game. Our dog's name is Auburn (my childhood dog was Duke), I've been known to jump on top of the ottoman at critical moments and I do in fact own a cake pan in the shape of a football field.

But why is it that we're willing to spend tons of money on the football experience, spend hours in conversation with friends and even strangers talking up our team, and do everything we can to make it obvious to the world which team we support, but we won't do the same for Jesus?

I don't know about you, but my team never died for me. My team doesn't give me life forever. My team makes me happy (and mad and anxious and...), but my team doesn't give me joy in all circumstances.

I love college football. I love the atmosphere, I love my teams and I love the time spent with family and friends enjoying it together. But, I want to love Jesus more. I want to be so pumped about what Jesus has done and continues to do that I can't stop talking about it. I want to "wave my flag" proudly that I belong to Jesus. I want to give my time, my money and my energy to the One who died for me. Don't you?

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