Summary: The Stakes are High our team needs to give our very best
Super bowl Sunday! The Patriots take on the Falcons in a head to head battle. Both teams have worked hard to get to this level of play and it will all be decided tonight.
If you don’t care for football, there are other teams playing for your attention. Advertisers have spent millions of dollars producing entertaining commercials displaying their products for you to buy. And then paying millions more to air them during the Super bowl. And the halftime show is expected to be longer and bigger than ever.
All in all, they expect 184 million people to tune into the game tonight. And it is a very big deal to those who want to get the message out about their products. In fact, those numbers are much more important to more people than the score of the game or a Super Bowl ring.
Such importance on things that in the long run, just doesn’t matter. I look at these events and wonder, if we could just hold a worship service that would draw as many people to Christ.
When I owned the Ice Cream Truck, it had a music box that played several songs over and over again. At first it was OK. Then it became annoying. Finally, I could just ignore it all together. But the people who would hear the truck go by would not. They would run to catch the truck, they would follow it in their cars. Children would jump out in the middle of the street. (That is why I had to be super careful and drive super slow.) And all the time while this would happen I would wonder, what would happen if people were as excited to hear the church bell on Sunday mornings?
The Falcons have 73 people play on their team. The Patriots have 67 players. So, 140 people need to be at their very best this afternoon. That is a big difference than the 184 million people that will be watching them. The 184 million have no impact on the outcome of the game. That depends solely on the team players. The battle will be fought by them but the impact will be felt around the world. It is a big thing. And each team member knows how important it is to give 100%. (They may say it but you can’t do better than that)
When it comes to Jesus’ team, our team, the stakes are much higher. Jesus did not come to entertain but to save. And he depends on his team, us to spread the Gospel for the transformation of the world. And we need to give our mission 100%.
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Jesus is saying that our effort needs to be 100%. Halfhearted faith is as useless and selfish as lighting a light only to cover it with a bowl to keep it from shining. Faith is meant to be shared. We are not to stay children who take flashlights into bed so that they can shine it under the covers.
Each team player of both the patriots and the Falcons have a duty to do their very best for their team tonight. We have Christians have a sacred duty to grow in faith. And to grow in faith means we need to change the focus of our faith from, what’s in it for me to How do I help others grow in their faith. Children think of themselves, mature adult’s think of others and put their needs first.
19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
We all start out in faith as spiritual children. And children are always welcome in the kingdom of God. However, there is an expectation that those who have faith will grow up. We start out in the Biddy league. There we learn the game and make mistakes. But the Super Bowl is not the biddy league. The stakes are high. For team Jesus, the stakes are even higher. The lost souls on our planet. And we need to get in the game and not sit at the sidelines waiting to watch someone else play. Amen