Melissa and I had the great opportunity to take a trip to Cincinnati to watch the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. Fortunately for myself (and anyone within conversational distance afterward) the Dolphins won. I was pumped! And…throughout the game, so were many other people…for many different reasons. Here are just some random thoughts about our experience and how it makes me think about the Church:
1 – Don’t fake it! I cannot tell you how many times I heard people try to explain a rule or argue a call…and be dead wrong. If you don’t know, don’t act like you do. The same goes for those in the Christian faith. How many times have you heard someone pretending they know more than they know (pastors included)? Know what you know…and be honest about it!
2 – Don’t embarrass the team! I can see her now. I slightly (*ahem*) intoxicated young lady who felt it was necessary to defend the Dolphins by yelling obscenities at Bengals fans, the players, and the officials. Nothing says class more than rude, crude, and lude behavior. You are more mature than that right? If so, you hopefully don’t do this when you defend your faith. While we may not curse and behave in such a juvenile way, we do put down, ridicule, and patronize those who believe differently. Those actions are an embarrassment to the team…and to those of us who support that team! Stop it!
3 – It’s not about the “window-dressing”. You know they have cheerleaders for pro football teams. Personally…I think it is a waste. But, the guy sitting behind me thought it was the best part. He loved to see them on the big screen…and make inappropriate comments about them. Okay…so we have cheerleaders but that is not why we came is it? We came for the game. We came so we can be a part of cheering on our team. When you come to worship…what are you coming for? Is it to see the window-dressing or is it to be a part of your team’s game (and in Christianity’s case…victory)?
4 – It’s not about geography. As we approached our car in the parking garage…me in my Chad Henne jersey and Melissa in her Ronnie Brown jersey…to guys standing by there care (obviously disgruntled Bengals fans) decided to ask me a questions. “Are you from Ohio?” they asked. I could see where this was going. “Nope, Indiana”, I said. “That’s close to Miami isn’t it?” (obvious sarcasm). You see…he thought, if I was from the area, I should cheer for the Bengals. I have heard a lot of pastors do this. They get upset because the people across the street travel further to go to a different house of worship. They miss the point! It is not about geography! It is about worship. It is about finding the place in which you are spiritually nourished and where you can be a nourishing agent for others. If the people across the street go to a different church…rejoice! They go to church! Forget about it and worry about the people who don’t go at all.
Okay…so those were some random thoughts and observations.
By the way…I responded to the guys in the parking garage by saying…”Hey, anything is better than cheering for Indianapolis!” To which he responded, “Oh. Yeah! I gotcha!” See…even Bengals fans and Dolphins fans can agree on that point.