Boston Celtics - 2008 NBA Champs
Posted: June 18, 2008 - 22:13 CT
Ok, I'm back. I've been busy this past couple of months researching America's Christian Heritage and should start writing on this new section soon. I must confess that I've also been a bit occupied (like every year about this time) with the NBA playoffs. No, I don't think the games are fixed, but I suspect they are "weighted" somewhat in favor of the teams with the stars. After all, shoe companies paying millions of dollars to the players and for television advertisements don't want to see their stars go out in the first round. The league doesn't want to see a sweep when they can sell tickets for a full seven game series. I also think Vince McMahon would be a natural replacement as commissioner when David Stern retires. That said, though I don't watch much television, I rarely miss the football or basketball playoffs, even after the Green Bay Packers or Dallas Mavericks have been eliminated. I do usually get in some studies during halftime and commercials.
First off, congratulations to the Boston Celtic organization on a great season and series victory over the Lakers. Most of their accolades are well deserved, but I couldn't help being a bit disappointed with the usual media worship of the players, attempting to elevate them to the status of deity. This blog entry is not written to put a damper on the Celtics' accomplishments or their fans' celebration. I believe the Apostle Paul might have been a sports fan. In several of his Biblical letters, he compares the purposeful life of a Christian to athletic competitions ("running the good race" etc). I am writing merely to offer some perspective.
The first thought that ran through my mind was wondering how many Christians attend the games, paying extra for seats closer to the court, screaming and cheering each goal, then sit in the back of the church with a glum look while singing "Victory in Jesus". If we can get this excited about a ball game, how much more excited should we be to witness a soul plucked from the pit of hell. I remember sitting in church a few years ago in Shreveport, La. A member of the LSU football team had been saved the week before and was sitting in front of us. Shortly after the sermon began, this 6'3", 240 pound athlete could no longer control his excitement. He got up, went outside and started running circles around the building, yelling for joy at the top of his lungs. He then came back in and sat down. He later got up two or three more times to repeat this action. He simply could not contain the joy he was feeling at knowing that he had been adopted into the family of God. Now, everyone has different temperaments, so I'm not saying that if one doesn't react this way, he or she isn't saved. We are not saved by our feelings, but though our faith. I do think we must examine ourselves to make sure we have our priorities straight, not only in corporate worship, but in our everyday lives.
About ten years ago, I stopped to vote on my way home in Round Rock, Texas, just north of Austin. The polling place was the children's building of a small church. As I waited in line, I found myself reading a poster hanging on the wall entitled "One Hundred Years from Now". I don't remember the exact words, but I think the theme is very appropriate for this occasion.
One hundred years from now, it won't matter how much was in your bank account, how big a house you lived in, what kind of car you drove, what kind of clothes or jewelry you wore, how many golf trophies or NBA titles you won... but the world can be radically changed by the difference you made in the life of one child.
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June 24, 2008 - 18:21
Celticfan33 - Foxboro, MA writes:
Thanks for writing this article. I think too many Christians tend to be killjoys when it comes to sports or other activities. God gave us certain abilities so that we could have life abundantly. God is not sitting up in heaven waiting to zap us if we have too much fun. Celtics in a repeat for 2009!
June 24, 2008 - 21:08
Thanks very much for your comments, Celtic fan. You bring up some excellent points. While I believe the abundant life in John 10:10 refers primarily to spiritual abundance, there are plenty of other scriptures which confirm God's benevolence and concern for all areas of our lives. He's certainly not against us having fun or using our God-given abilities to excel in life, providing our motivations are pure. This also brings up the issue of pride. I'll attempt to expand on these thoughts in a new blog entry in the next few days and post the link here.
Congratulations again on the Celtic's championship. It seems to be a great time to be a sports fan in the Boston area, with the additional success of the Red Sox and Patriots in recent years.
June 26, 2008 - 21:35
The new blog entry mentioned above, Sports and the Christian, is now loaded.
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