The second sports story for today is an extension of an illustration from this morning’s sermon on the church of Laodicea, whose self-sufficiency and apathy were criticized by Jesus in the book of Revelation.
On Monday morning, how many of you hear your friends talking about the football games – college, NFL or otherwise – from the weekend? When you hear about the games, do you hear lots and lots of praise for what a wonderful job they do in the huddle? How masterfully they encourage each other in there in their little on-the-field meeting, the wonderfully they execute hand-holding technique, and how adeptly and precisely they chant “BREAK!” as they leave their short gathering?
Unless you live in the Twilight Zone, I am guessing that this is not the case. Rather, I am more used to hearing discussions of actual results on the field.
And this is where the disconnect exists between the modern church and the world in which it resides. The modern church is seen as spending the bulk of its time huddling – primarily on Sunday morning and maybe, Wednesday evening – and expending its energy in producing the best huddle possible. Or, when they take the field, they spend their time talking about how bad the other church’s huddles or games are, and their strength battling over the best possible rules interpretations, or why theirs are superior to others.
Honestly, if your church were to announce that it was closing its doors and that its members were leaving the community, would the surrounding community cry out because of what it would be losing – that the church was an irreplaceable blessing to it?
Or, would they even notice the difference, because you rarely break the huddle and actually get into the game – and if you do, it is only to recruit more members for the team?