Let's have a pep rally!


Sports.  Some can take them or leave them, but from a young age, I have had a love for sports etched into my soul.  I grew up in a large family where the selling of sporting goods put food on the table and pink hi-top PONY shoes on my feet {and they weren’t just any shoes…they were the Mary Lou Retton signature hi-tops}  Needless to say, our life revolved around whatever sport was in season, and whenever there was a teachable moment, you can bet a sports analogy was on its way:
"It’s a swing and a miss!”—affectionately used when someone missed the trash can or laundry basket.
“Take one for the team”—when everyone else has too much homework and you’re left fixing dinner for the whole family.
“Rub some dirt on it”—my dad’s way of telling you that the gaping wound you have does not need medical attention.

So it's not surprising that God brought this analogy to mind one Sunday morning, as I poured my heart out to him during an incredible worship set.  Follow with me for a moment...

Two rival teams play against one another, Both sets of fans dressed in their school colors, faces painted and signs held high for their favorite players.  You’ve arrived an hour before the game starts, just to get the perfect seat.  You watch the fast paced game as the lead frequently goes back and forth.  You yell accordingly “Defense!” or “Basket!” The ref blows the whistle and you wait with anticipation to see whose ball it will be. You stand the entire game, too excited to sit down, barely leaving room for air between you and the next fan.  A timeout requires the crowd to get on their feet, in hopes that their yelling will get the team fired up for one last play. The band plays loudly and the students chant along with the “HEY SONG.”  You’re up by 1 with only a few seconds left, and the other team has the ball. You bite your nails, your eyes glued to the court, waiting for play to resume.  You know the outcome could go either way, and you’re not sure you can handle losing after such a hard-fought battle.  The other stumbles and loses the ball, just in time for the clock to run out. You’ve just won! You scream as loud as you can, you hug the person sitting next to you and run to mob the team in the middle of the court. The whole student body is now on the floor, jumping and screaming with their hands in the air. Your heart is racing and you can feel the exhilaration rushing through your veins.  The players are lifted high upon shoulders and the fight song spontaneously erupts.   CHAMPIONS! WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS!  The celebration continues on long into the night with a pep rally and a parade through the downtown, all in honor of those players that just brought a championship trophy to your hometown.  

You arrive at church dressed to impress, 5-10 minutes after the start time, hoping to slip in the back so no one will notice.  You make sure to keep 1-2 seats between you and the next person, as not to encroach upon your personal space.  You missed the upbeat song the worship team played in hopes of waking people up, so now you’re standing there with latte in hand, barely participating in the following songs.  After 10 long, grueling minutes, you’re glad to finally get to sit down and rest your feet.  The pastor begins to teach, but you’re too bored to pay much attention, and you’re distracted by his untucked plaid shirt.  So you check your phone, make a grocery list, and contemplate at what store you could buy the lady’s shoes next to you. The pastor asks everyone to close their eyes and pray, but it’s dark and you can’t help but nod off.  Eventually the acoustic guitar wakes you up, and you grudgingly stand one more time.  Church is dismissed, you file out quickly, being sure not to make eye contact with anyone, and you head to your car.  One hour clocked and your duty is done, until the same time next week when you come and do it again.

HOLD UP! Wait a minute…. do we have it backwards? Have we mixed it up? Shouldn’t we come to church each Sunday ready to celebrate the ULTIMATE VICTORY?  Shouldn’t we be more excited about how the Savior of this world conquered death than we are about who conquers the hardwoods?

Think about what it would be like if we showed up early to church, grabbing the best seats, ready to participate, and not concerned about how close we are to one another.  What if we cheered for the worship set to go longer and couldn’t help but raise our hands and voices in jubilation.  Can you imagine if, during the teaching, we sat on the edge of our seats, hanging on the pastor’s every word, waiting with anticipation what truth will come next. And what if, just what.if. we hung out longer after the service was over, meeting new people—possibly even hugging them—and not in a hurry to rush out.

Church doesn’t have to be a somber, lackluster, melancholy place. A worship service isn’t something we have to just endure. Consider it to be a pep rally, celebrating THE Victor of all victors! The Champion that brought home the trophy of eternal life deserves a parade and to be lifted high.  Unlike a ballgame where you don’t know the winner until it’s over, as Christians, we already know who won! So let’s act like it!

“Be exalted, O LORD, in your strength! We will sing and praise your power.”
Psalm 21:13 

"That my glory may sing your praise and not be silent"
Psalm 30:12 

You Might Also Like


Popular Posts

Blog Archive