We are in the middle of football season. I am actually writing this column a few days before the first games of the college season, but by the time you read it many teams will have played as many as three games. Some who began the season with high expectations will already be thinking about next year. Others who were less optimistic at the beginning of the month are now dreaming about big possibilities.
But I can assure that this much is true. Two days from now, people will be filling up large stadiums across America, dressed in their school’s colors, painted faces and pompoms in hand. Bands will be playing, and cheerleaders will be cheering. Some coaches will be praised, while others will be vilified. All in the name of that most American of sports — football.
I admit to you that I am a football fan. I’m not a season-ticket holder, but I have attended one game this year and may go to another. But no matter what, I will be in front of the TV when my team is playing, cheering it on to the anticipated victory. Unless something comes up, I will not miss a game.
Just what could come up that would cause me to miss that game? Well, there are a variety of things. I won’t go into all of them, but there are things I deem more important than a football game. I’m sure some consider that to be blasphemous, but there really are things far more important.
Can I let you in on a secret? As a pastor, I do so wish that Christians would take their church lives as seriously as they do their football teams. I wish that we would be as faithful to the Lord and his church as we are to attend and watch the games. I wish that we talked as often about the Lord as we do about football. I wish we had better priorities.
Could I be talking about you today? I’m not setting out to offend you, but I hope I will make you think. You know, it’s not just football. Many things get in the way of our faithfulness to the Lord and his church. What is it for you? I pray that you will be careful to gather with your church family this weekend for worship. They need you. You need them.
It really does matter.