For those who follow sports and especially football the recent NFL draft has everyone longing for a new season. Never mind that more than half of those we saw drafted by our favorite teams may not even be on the roster when the games are real and count. Right now all the teams are undefeated and expectations are high.
But what if all the players did was practice? What if theirs was a vocation that didn’t include the performance of games? What about an orchestra that never held a concert or a new store that never opened to the public for the transaction of commerce?
Sounds silly doesn’t it? Almost absurd. It doesn’t make sense to consider any of those without their intended external outcome.
The same is true of the church. We don’t come to church, we are the church. Faith is not an exercise only in internal spiritual practices. The destination of faith is out in the world, equipping, inspiring, bearing fruit, being the hands and feet of Christ, making a difference outwardly and inwardly.
In short, Christians are not to be “practice players”. We’re called to something more.
My congregation heard and saw evidence of that presence of church on Sunday. Our Youth (High School Seniors) stood and told us how important faith and relationships are. They were accepted by us, inspired by us, challenged by us and they understand that while they may graduate from school and move away from us they do not leave the church in the practical or practicing sense. They know they are to do for others what has been done for them. They understand being called into active church. They’ve experienced something more than Sunday morning worship faith, more than camps and retreats and crazy games. They know love and caring and acceptance because of what they’ve practiced here, because of the church community that surrounded them.
They don’t intend on that stopping, even with graduation. These students taught us a great lesson on Sunday.
Alright Church, our turn. It’s time to suit up and take the field. The world is watching.
(Original content written May 2015)