We’re huge football fans – real football aka soccer in North America – and we talk about our team, about other teams. We get up at 4am to watch the rare televised games of our true team (hopefully not so rare if we hold onto a promotion spot), money is spent on shirts, scarves, tickets to watch our new team. In a few weeks, we’re taking a weekend to travel and watch a match making the trip a mini break to see Portland and some new bits of Washington on the way. It might surprise you to know we are relatively tame supporters. There are people who spend far more than we do, talk more fanatically than we do and who devote a much much much larger proportion of their lives and resources to their team.
The thing about fans (fanatic being the root of that word) is they are passionate about something be it team, music, technology or whatever and they are unashamed, they TALK! I watched the Mexican fans before the Canada v Mexico world cup qualifier last month and they were loud and passionate, they sported colours, faces painted, they had flags and they recognised fellow fans by these things.
When was the last time someone could have recognised you as a Christian because of a conversation you were having – a passionate exchange with a fellow believer? Not witnessing to a non-believer but in a coffee shop talking together about what God has done recently with you? Not asking a neighbour to come to church because that’s what we do but being unable to keep quiet with a friend as you both overflow with how great God is?
I am happy to say in Mucho Burrito last Saturday 6 of us squashed around a table munching good food and raved about the stuff we had been hearing at a conference along with other good things God was doing. We were loud and I was conscious and a bit nervous that we could be overheard. I sat waiting for a table in a restaurant wearing my team’s shirt, talking about football unconcerned that I could be identified, hoping to catch someone else into some good football talk. I sat with a friend a few weeks ago outside Starbucks praying – aware people could see and wondering what they thought.
38 If you are ashamed of Me and of what I came to teach to this adulterous and sinful generation, then the Son of Man will be ashamed of you when He comes in the glory of His Father along with the holy messengers at the final judgment.
Am I ashamed? I truly hope not. But am I as relaxed, as easy, just downright wanting to bounce and share and enthuse about how great God is, about how much Jesus loves me and the fabulous things He has done in my life? Not in the least, there’s an awareness that people might be offended, might think I am weird, might snigger, might judge me so maybe that is edging towards shame….
God help me. Help me die to me again today. Jesus came to give me life and life to the full and He has fulfilled that in a way a football team will never manage to even do 0.000000000000000000000000001% of. He came to give that same life to those around me. Put me in a ‘religious’ location and I can witness, I’ve done the open-air bus station preaching and witness. But in my ordinary everyday life – not one of those ‘designed to evangelise’ moments but just daily life am I full of Him to overflowing?
Time to nail my colours to the mast.