Fans vs. Players
You just thought baseball was over for us here in Texas Ranger territory. Well, we have some good news for you- baseball will continue here at First United Methodist Church of Colleyville during the month of October in our new sermon series Step Up to the Plate! This baseball sermon series features new church baseball shirts, Pastor Mike in full baseball uniform, and a church-wide jersey day, so we hope you will join us every week for this fun series! For the next four weeks we are looking at what baseball can teach us about stewardship. Stewardship is taking care for something that has been entrusted to us. God calls us to be good stewards of our earth, our families, our church, and our lives.
This week we looked at the story of Peter’s denial of Christ in Mark 14:66-72. While Peter is a faithful follower of Christ throughout most of Jesus’ ministry, he his a low point when he promises Christ more than he can deliver. When Jesus predicts Peter will deny him three times, Peter says he will stay faithful until death. However, when the rubber hits the road and things get tough, he goes back on his word and denies Jesus three times. In this moment, Peter seems to be like a fair-weather fan. Fair weather fans only attend games when the weather is nice and the team is losing.
It’s not only Peter though, we have a lot of people who are fans of Jesus in our world. Kyle Idleman in his book Not a Fan, writes, “Jesus has a lot of fans these days. Fans who cheer for him when things are going well, but who walk away when it is a difficult season. Fans who sit safely in the stands cheering, but they know nothing of the sacrifice and pain of the field.” While Peter’s denial is a pretty disheartening event, it is not the end of Peter’s story. In Mark 16:7, the angel tells the women who discover Jesus’ empty tomb “Go and tell Jesus’ disciples and Peter that Jesus has gone on to Galilee, and he will see them there.” The “and Peter” shows us that Jesus doesn’t exclude Peter but that Jesus wants to restore him back to relationship. In the Gospel of John, Jesus allows Peter to reaffirm his loyalty by asking him three times “Do you love me?” Jesus transformed Peter from being a fan into a dedicated athlete and player in the game.
Just as Jesus transformed Peter, Jesus can transform us into athletes and players in the Christian faith. Jesus is calling all of us to be athletes who are unafraid of the sweat, work, and sometimes struggle that comes with being a disciple. Through Christ, we can become athletes on the Christian journey, who are all in for Christ. As disciples, none of us are spectators or consumers of the church. Discipleship means that we are athletes, who devote our time, our talents, and our treasures to God. There are numerous opportunities in our church to take that next step of faith to transition from being a fan to an athlete. We hope you will prayerfully consider how God is calling you to get in the game with our church.
Monday- Mark 14:66-72
Tuesday- John 21:15-19
Wednesday- 1 Samuel 17:1-16
Thursday- 1 Samuel 17:17-37
Friday- 1 Samuel 17:38-58
Questions to Consider and Discuss:
1. Do you think you are more of a fan or an athlete in the Christian faith?
2. What is God calling you to do to “get in the game”?