Monday, 12 May 2014

My church is a football ground.

Football IS a funny old game and those who follow it tend to be fanatically passionate about it. The football season has finally ended in England, Man City won the premiership, Liverpool despite everything didn't and some teams performed escape miracles on par with Houdini himself. There was blood, sweat and tears on the final day and it should be no different, i want my team to play with passion, to play like life depended upon that 3 point win. There is this theory that Football is the new religion, stadiums are the new churches, managers the new ministers and the players are the new idols to be worshipped and in some respects that is perfectly true, but if you dig a bit deeper it actually goes to the core of a person, it goes as deep as and in some cases deeper than faith. 

We pick a church because it resonates with us, our folks went there, a friend, there is something that gets you to a church to start with. Then invariably that church stays with us (well at least from a denominational) point and we become………. (fill in your own blank) Its no different with football, i'm a Leeds fan have been since i was 6 years old, something about that team hit me and stuck with me, i'm now coming up the fast side to 50 this year. The team has let me down, they have lost, they have won, they have made me cry with happiness and weep tears of pain, it's all very real when it's a team you are passionate about. Church/God can do the same to us, make us happy make us weep, and affect us in various ways, you see church and teams are very close bed fellows. It requires faith in God to be a Christian it's difficult to believe without faith. To follow Leeds requires an amount of faith that is monumental, it requires me to put my trust for 90 minutes in 11 guys running around a football pitch, who at times seem to have no idea what they are doing. Church is the same at times, when its going great we are all happy, when its going bad we all bitch and moan. Offering up sage advice to those in charge, offering our "expert" opinion when actually we sometimes only have a small idea of what is going on, we see the 90 minutes of play not the effort gone into getting there on the pitch. You see you can be a passionless follower of a team or God, only interested when they are winning or doing well, or you can have a passion which is all consuming, a passion which makes you go back time and time again, and gets you believing things will get better. Faith is required to follow a team, its a foregone conclusion that you need it to follow God, yes stadiums are the new churches, people attend because they feel they belong, they feel wanted. In our churches do people feel that way? if we are truthful we have to say at times no they are not. Football and faith are not that far apart they require certain common things to make them active work. For those of you who don't follow football, you can now cat ch up and watch your normal tv for 3-4 weeks, then its going to be wall to wall football for a month as it's the World cup, Passions will run high, things will be said, advice will be given. Lets actually try and be as passionate about God as we are about something we follow, whether a team or a programme, whether it makes sense or not, lets just practise a bit of passion and faith, because thats going to win through at the end of the day

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