“Soccer Mania” … What about “Faith Mania”??
Over the past few weeks, there has been a lot of fever and attention on the soccer matches in the World Championships. People had allegiances for the teams they were cheering for and would do whatever they had to do to watch the various matches. There were flags on people’s cars indicating the team they were rooting for. Pubs had specials to attract crowds to watch the various matches in a group. Even on Sunday morning, when the final game was about to begin, churches were advertising large screens to watch the game as soon as worship was ended. Soccer is obviously a big thing to many people.
I remember a few years ago the cars going up and down Yonge St. honking their horns and waving in celebration because their team had won. There was so much excitement in the air. And for the most part, it was good natured even though some teams obviously lost while others won.
I had a thought! What if followers of Jesus Christ were as excited and exuberant about their faith. It would be quite a spectacle that would attract attention if together we lived out a similar kind of fever as we see around such sporting events. Imagine the message of good news and hope that could be proclaimed; or the light that could shine in the darkness of the world; or the healing that could be offered in midst of so much brokenness.
I believe that the world around us takes notice when we as the body of Christ are active in celebrating who we are and all God has blessed us with. Our excitement can become contagious. Imagine the impact that could have! In truth, being public about our faith is part of our ministry of discipleship as followers of Jesus. Remember Jesus himself saying, “No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lamp stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” (Matt 5: 15)
When we get so excited about so many things, let’s remember to make our faith one of those things because of the joy it brings into our lives. Let’s live in such a way that we are always celebrating who we are in Christ Jesus and how much we have received because of our discipleship as followers of Jesus. Our lives will be affected for sure, and so will the lives of those who are around us.
I offer us this prayer to experience fully God’s abiding joy …
what a comfort to read of the prophets of old
who despite the difficulties and dangers
that they were called upon to face,
were able to rejoice in the Lord
and trust in Your never-failing faithfulness.
We pray that like them
we too may receive Your abiding joy and discover like them…
that the joy of the Lord is our strength
and that the peace that comes from You
is an abiding peace that enables us
to overcome all difficulties of life – in the power of Your Holy Spirit.
So fill our hearts with Your abiding joy
that we may rejoice in life’s circumstances.
In periods of plenty and during those seasons
when we have very little
– in times of hardship as well as those times of great sufficiency.
Thank You that we are Your children and You are our Father.
May our hearts rejoice in good times and in bad
and may Your abiding joy and perfect peace
find residence in our heart – as we rest in Your love
and trust in Your unfailing goodness,
Remember, if you have a question, I encourage you to send it to me in an email and I will do my best to answer it either in a weekly update or in a sermon.
As always, my inbox is open, and so is my office door if you’d like to chat. I’m usually in my office most mornings Monday through Thursday unless otherwise announced due to a meeting. Stop by or make an appointment!
Take care and have a blessed day and week!