So, I am not a big sports fan and have never followed any team very closely. I can't say the same for my family! At this time of year, college basketball and brackets are a big part of our home life and the cheering can be wild at times. Let's face it: everybody loves to pull for their team, whether they are winning or not. Sometimes, a team will have a bad year. Injuries, legal trouble, academic suspension, change in coaching staff, etc. Then some years are golden and the 'dream team" will be firing on all cylinders. Then there are years when the underdog pulls ahead and wins big. But we still cheer on our team and wear their colors. That's the way it should be. Like the old Beach Boys song says, "Be True to Your School".
The same should be said for the people we do life with. Our Faith Family. Our church. How would it be if we put as much time and energy into cheering on the Kingdom of God in our own churches as we put into cheering on our favorite team?? Don't misunderstand me. I am as guilty as the next guy when it comes to a lack of cheering. We often tend to focus on what's going wrong, other than on what's going well. (the "injuries", the "foul trouble", the ones "on the bench" for whatever reason). It's so easy to overlook the blessings that God gives us through His Son Jesus Christ and miss out on what He is doing with our team (even with all our inabilities).
I've recently been reminded yet again of the words of the Apostle Paul in Ephesians. Great words to read. Easy to say. But much harder to follow. You probably already know the verse I'm referring to. Yep. 4:29. Here it is: "Let no unwholesome word proceed out of your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear." The Message translation puts it this way: "Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word is a gift." Say only what helps. It's a gift. Wow. That's a tall order. But how wonderful if we took it to heart.
I wonder if my words are gifts to other people? I wonder if the way I speak of my church in public is a gift to Mountain View? I wonder if people who may not attend MVC or any other church get a good report about it from my words? Even as I write this, my spirit is troubled that I don't always live up to this command. But I can keep on trying! I can get my game face on and cheer on the team at MVC! After all, in this bracket, Jesus always wins!!!
-Pastor Brent Bolick
"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing and acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer."