Dear Followers of Jesus,
Many of you are probably sporting aficionados to some degree or another. I guess I don’t qualify as an aficionado, but there have been moments when I approached that status. I don’t think, however, that I have ever come close to experiencing the wild frenzy and barbaric ecstasy that I see on the faces of some football fans. Now that the NFL playoffs have begun, we are once more being exposed to the wild antics of hard-core fans who frequent football stadiums at this season.
Despite the barbarity in these celebrations, they strike some primeval chord that vibrates with meaning for the Christian. That chord is simply the joy that comes when honor and glory are rightfully attributed to worthy people. This is a theme that is repeated daily in all walks of life and in every culture.
Whatever you may think of amateur or professional sports, there is something in all of us that is touched by scenes of genuine adulation, and we readily rejoice over difficult tasks completed with honor and integrity. We laugh with those who laugh, and we cry for joy with those who accomplish impossible dreams, and then we revel in the sheer wonder of it all.
These activities and celebrations touch us deeply because they remind us of scenes yet to come when our Lord will be revealed from Heaven amidst scenes of power and great glory and unimaginable splendor. At last the world will see the only really worthy One, and no one will miss out on this event. As Jesus put it, “The Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels” (Matthew 16:27). And then He adds in another place that this will be a moment when He will be ashamed of those who were ashamed of Him (Mark 8:38), but will also acknowledge before His Father those who were not ashamed of Him on earth (Matthew 11:32).
Can you imagine being acknowledged by Jesus as He holds the microphone and announces your name before the Father and His angels? Talk about celebrations and joy! The Bible speaks about entering into the joy of our master. We will be excited. We will be ecstatic. We will be deliriously happy. The Bible says that on that day we will “go forth and skip about like calves from the stall” (Malachi 4:2). We will make the football fans look feeble and irrelevant. We will share in His glory; we will shine like the stars forever. So I say, let the athletes bask in their fleeting moments of glory in the TV ads and on the Wheaties boxes, but let us who fear His name lift up our heads that the King of glory may come in. For the day of His return is surely on its way.
Have a glorious Sabbath,