Archive for July, 2018

Seems like everyone has been watching the football recently
We get swept up in a mood, where spectating becomes almost like participating
Watching becomes almost like taking part – except that it isn’t

The world is full of powerful people and powerful interests who would like us all to be spectators
Spectators are a lot easier to deal with than people who want to make a difference

It’s easy for people to buy into the mood of a spectacle
It’s easy to escape into a fantasy of participation
Easy to slip into a parallel reality that is no reality at all

It’s easy for us to do the same – even in our church life
It’s easy for us to become spectators – people who go to church to watch a spectacle
People whose faith amounts to little more than turning up on Sundays to watch what goes on

This is all wrong
When it comes to faith, we should never be just spectators – we are the players

This sanctuary, our place of worship isn’t the pitch – it’s just the dressing room
It’s a place to prepare, a place to get our kit on, to hear the pep talk, to encourage one another
It’s a place to come back to when the match is over, to wash off the mud, slap each other on the back, celebrate a win or hope for a better result next time

But you can’t play football in the dressing room
There has to be a point when the banter stops, and the action starts

Think how top players feel, after all the training and preparation, if they’re not called onto the pitch
It’s a dismal thing, to sit for ninety minutes on the bench

Some Christians don’t even get that far
Remember the old joke
I’m in the school football team
That’s great – what position do you play?
Left back – left back in the dressing room

What an awful position, to be left back in the dressing room – is that where we’ll end up?
Imagine, if the manager doesn’t think you’re prepared or motivated enough to face the opposition
Is that what we want, as Christians?

If our faith never leaves the dressing room, we’ll never play a match
If we never face the opposition, we’ll never hold the trophy
If we don’t really want the trophy, I don’t know why we’re here at all
15 July 2018, St George’s, High Heaton