Summary: Do we push and strain to score a touchdown or hold the offense on goal line stands? Do we really care about what Christ calls us to do and be?
Goal Line Stands
January 22, 2012
One of the most exciting parts of a football game occurs when one team gets the ball near the other teams goal line. Then it becomes time for a goal line stand. The defense digs in to stop the offense, while the offense does everything they can to score that. Players are lined up helmet to helmet. Everyone is cheering, it’s tense, it’s exciting, it’s football!!
As I thought about what I wanted to talk about this week as it pertains to church I wanted to use this goal line stand as a metaphor for the way the church works. To do that I’m going to show a 3:30 video from the 1982 Super Bowl. Anyone know who played and won? It was Super Bowl 16, and it was the San Francisco 49ers against the Cincinnati Bengals. Let me set this up for a moment for you to show you the importance of this situation. The 49ers were winning 20-0 at halftime. Cincinnati took the second half kickoff and drove down field and scored a touchdown. The score was 20-7 and they had the ball again. They got down to the 49ers 3 yard line. It was first down, so they had 4 plays to score a touchdown. If they score, the momentum changes, let’s watch what happens . . .
SHOW VIDEO (from youtube)
Okay, now you’ve got your football fix for the day. After all, the Colts and Bears aren’t playing. So, what do I want us to get from this video and message? Before we jump into dissecting the video, let’s look at some scripture first.
We’re looking at 1 Corinthians 12. It’s a section where Paul is talking about spiritual gifts, and he then begins to talk about the fact that every member is dependant upon the other members. Let me read the passage . . . .
12 The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.
13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
14 Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body.
16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body.
17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?
18 But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be?
20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!”
22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable,
24 But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it,
25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.
26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
So . . . what does all of that mean? Between the scripture and the video. Well, here’s my take on it all. As Paul said, we are a team, we are comprised of many different people, who all look different, who have different personalities, different skills, talents, gifts, and that list goes on and on.
But, we are called to be one team, even though we are all different. We are called to put all of our talents, skills and gifts into one basket . . . the basket called “Christ Follower.” We play in the Christ Follower league, but you are on the FBC Team.
That means we work together for the common good, it means we believe we are vital and necessary to the future of this church. It means that like those players in that game, some of us will make mistakes and we will all commit sins, but when it’s all over and done with we are still on the same team.