Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Psalms 132:7, 13 – 16 Let us go to his dwelling place; let us worship at his footstool…For the LORD has chosen Zion, he has desired it for his dwelling: “This is my resting place for ever and ever; here I will sit enthroned, for I have desired it—I will bless her with abundant provisions; her poor will I satisfy with food. I will clothe her priests with salvation, and her saints will ever sing for joy.”
Here’s a dream job if there ever was one – being the chaplain of a professional sports team. I always thought that my golf skills could be developed enough so I could become the chaplain of the PGA Seniors Tour. Imagine being able to spend every day playing golf with the best players in the world for the express purpose of sharing with them the love of Jesus Christ.
Rod Cooper had such a job. Years ago, he was the chaplain for the Astros and the Oilers when he was in Houston, Texas. After conducting a chapel service, they’d give him tickets. One time in the Astrodome he watched Earl Campbell run over everybody, his own men included, to get to the goal line. When he got to the goal line, he put the ball down. The place went crazy. People were giving high fives and jumping around. The score board went off. The same thing happened when the Astros hit a home run. It was a ringing shout, because their man scored a touchdown.
Chaplain Rod made this observation. “I’m not saying that when you come to church you need to give each other high fives or do cartwheels down the aisle, but worship is a time of anticipation and expectation. We come together because all week God has been knocking home runs and scoring touchdowns in our lives. Worship is a time to celebrate what God has done for us.”
I participated in the same kind of celebration on Sunday, but it wasn’t at church. It was later in the day following a touchdown at the end of a game. Tears, shouts, explosions of emotions, and immediate conversations with other fans took place as we all shared our enthusiasm for what had happened.
When we have the opportunity to come together as the family of God, maybe we should act a little more like fans of God. I bet our churches would experience a radical change in spirit if we spent less time talking in church about sports, weather, new clothes, jobs, and a long list of other trivial pursuits, and we spent more time talking about the touchdowns God scored in our lives in the past week. What if, when we arrived at church, we spent the time prior to the service connecting with God through conversations about God instead of about stuff. Imagine the enthusiasm we would experience if our hearts were already flooded with the joy of the Lord when the worship band begins to play and we are invited to join the singers in praising God. Can you feel the excitement as we begin to sing, Savior, He can move the mountains, My God is mighty to save, He is mighty to save. Forever, Author of salvation; He rose and conquered the grave, Jesus conquered the grave. I have tears in my eyes already.
For many, worship seems like an interruption rather than the main event – a seventh inning stretch in the game of life. But worship is to be the game of our lives. It is to define our career. It is our hall of fame moment. We have been permitted weekly access into the post-game locker room of the greatest team on earth. The Coach stands before us. He reminds us of how well we played in the game this week. He commends us for our discipline. We acknowledge the wonder of His play calling. We marvel at His strategies that always end in victory. He closes His speech with these words – “Enjoy this win!” We don’t even hear the rest when He says, “’cause tomorrow we get back to work.” We are already shouting and jumping around as we do what He said – celebrate.
God has blessed us with abundant provisions. He has satisfied even the poor with food. He has clothed us with salvation. He has overwhelmed us with joy. Let us enter into His presence with thanksgiving in our hearts. Let us shout to the Lord. Let us lift up our hands and praise Him, showing the world that we love Him. Let us worship the Lord in the splendor of His majesty, for He has done great things. Let us come together as the fans of God and celebrate every spiritual touchdown.