This morning on my 10-15 minute drive to the Church office, I saw more Duke Blue Devils Car Magnets and Car Flags than I have the entire 3 plus years I've lived here in North Carolina. I guess they only bring those out on special occasions...like the other 3 National Championships they go.... If they really are Duke fans...then why haven't we seen this much excitement before? Is there an unsaid NC law that you only fly your flags and put on magnets when you win the BIG game?
Living in Georgia most of my life, I have seen UGA and Tech fans fly their flags 365 and driving through and being in college in SC, I saw USC and Clempson flags flown every day of every season. I myself fly my Gamecock flags on my truck throughout the entire football season. Win...Lose....it doesn't matter, I'm going to show my true colors of Garnet and Black!
Too often in our spiritual lives we are fairweather fans! We only fly the Jesus carflags and put on the the Jesus car magnets on Easter and Christmas. We are Fairweather Jesus Fans!
Luke 9:23 says, "Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
We need to be like those fans who support their team during a 0-11 season and still fly their flags and support their team. We need to be like those fans who wear their team t-shirt the day after their team loses the big game. We need to be Jesus fans every day! Just like the fans that receive grief and harsh words from opposing fans, we too when we stand up for Christ will suffer. In these days of our sports society I feel that the analogy of sports and our walk with Christ are very close. But think about how you have in the past or recently done things for your "team" and then think about how you have not done the same for your Savior...
So are you a Fairweather fan in Sports and in Church?
For the majority of my life the first full week of April is sacred. Growing up in Augusta, the first full week of April is Masters Week. 1987 was the first year that my parents took me the practice rounds at the Augusta National Golf Course. From then on it wasn't spring unless I walked onto that Golf Course. Since then I have only missed 3 Masters that I did attend or work at least one day of the Masters Practice Round or Golf Tournament. There is just something about walking on the grounds of Augusta and hearing the Master's theme song on CBS on Sunday afternoon while watching the Sunday Leader board, seeing Magnolia Lane, seeing the vendors and scalpers lined down Washington Road. The thought of Masters weeks brings back memories of friends, family, and seeing some great golf.
It also reminds me of Easter Sunday. Easter Sundays either at the beginning of Masters week or the end. It reminds me of going down to Sunrise service downtown at the River Walk. It was always a great morning of multi-denominations coming together to worship our risen Lord.
Last night I was channel surfing and saw a commercial on the Golf Channel for Masters Week Highlights and I remembered one year that someone made said during the service that it was the Master's week...not Masters Week. This year, this week...it seems to be Tiger week. The Media from ESPN to TMZ is in Augusta this week setup ready for the return of Tiger after his multiple affairs and rehab. It is going to be a circus.
Yet Easter was yesterday...the greatest miracle, the most important aspect of why we are Christians...and it was just a small footnote to newspapers and news. It was very interesting to see the tweet # for Easter, but as the day went on...the fewer they got. Fox News Channel and the History Channel had several good stories and spotlighted the Christian faith, but it is nothing compared to the attention Tiger is getting. Tiger plays golf, sells NIKE and other things, but did not raise from the dead. If he ends up winning another Green Jacket this week...some might say that he raised his career back from the dead, but really????
So my main point to this rant and blog is...how will you live this week? Will you keep the Good News to yourself about what you heard yesterday at your Easter service? Or will you become part of the Tiger Hype and talk more about Tiger than the Resurrection this week? Being from Augusta, Masters Week will always bring that special to me. But my challenge to you is will you make every week our Master's Week and tell everyone about our Risen Lord?
We say this every Easter...but do we really mean what we say and do we understand what that means. To think that almost 2000 years ago, the stone was rolled away and everyone was scared! The disciples and the women were scared and clueless. The government and soldiers thought that they had been tricked and that the body of Christ was stolen. Throughout history after hearing that Jesus had been seen by others because he really wasn't dead is absurd! After the beating and being crucified, without modern hospitals or medicine, there is no way he could have survived.
So HE DID IT. HE ROSE FROM THE GRAVE! HE CONQUERED DEATH! HE TOOK OUR PLACE!
I sit here and I'm in awe that the God of the universe would send His Son to pay for our sins. It just blows my mind! I'm super excited! My God loves me so much that He would do this for me. And He did it for you too!
I hope you take the time away from the Easter Ham and the Easter basket to realize what really happened on that first Easter Sunday. Your whole faith depends on it....