Monday, August 16, 2010

Football and Holiness

While driving home from delivering my son to football practice, I heard about a football team in Michigan that is holding the annual two-a-day football practices between 11:00 pm and 4:00 am.  In the Texas heat, I see this as just plan smart.  They are doing this because, according to an article at, 95% of the team is fasting for Ramadan.  See the article here.  I am not complaining.  I am congratulating the team and the individuals on the team.  They are all making sacrifices so they can fast and prayer during these High Holy Days of Ramadan. 

Do we as Christians, take our holidays (this comes from the words HOLY and DAYS) as seriously?  How many of us will attend and or watch the Cowboys play on Christmas Day, or watch a double header of NBA basketball?  Major League Baseball tends to love playing on Easter.  Even Southern Methodist University has followed the mighty TV money and will be opening their season on Sunday, September 4th in Lubbock on ESPN.

Now, we can argue this several ways.  First, they are all following willing money. The teams are simply doing what they have to do to make a buck.  Second, we can blame TV.  They have times slots to fill and will offer good money for teams to play and get TV time.  Third, we can blame the owners of professional teams.  I like to blame Jerry Jones for almost everything anyway, so this is all the same to me.  Finally, we could and should blame us.  We are the ones who demand, watch, and ultimately pay for games to be played on Christmas, Easter, and Sunday afternoon. 

What if, we turned off our TVs, radios, and did not attend games on Sundays?  What if we avoided sports on Christmas and Easter?  Would the sports marketing crumble?  Probably not.  They might find other times to play the games.  But, let's be honest.  We are almost Christian and lazy at that.  If we were not watching our beloved Cowboys on Christmas Day, we would be at the movie theater laughing it up over popcorn.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Last night my wife, Tammy, and I had an interesting conversation.  The topic basically was, "Where do you see the Kingdom of God?"  It stemmed from her picking-up our son from Vacation Bible School where two boys prayed during the closing time.  When they finished, the room burst into applause and they literally were high-fiving people as they returned to their seats. 

It reminded me the many times I have been a part of a communion service full of kids during vacation Bible school.  It is loud and restless.  The kids pushed to see what was going on and then some were bashful when they final came to the point of receiving a pinch of bread and a drop of juice that represent to us the body and blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  Following one of these services a retired clergy, Mike Young, came to me and said, "Communion needs to be like this more often on Sunday morning.  Noisy and energetic." 

Yes, I often brush-up against the divine and holy in private, quiet meditation, but somehow I do not see the Kingdom of God being very quiet.  Rather, I see it being noisy, energetic, a bit sweaty, and possibly dirty.  I say this because every time I go on a mission trip, I see the Kingdom of God.  When I see 100+ kids pushing to see what is going on and learning the stories of our faith, I see the Kingdom of God.  When I hear the stories Tammy tells from the Board meetings of the Women's Center, I hear a retelling of people who are working for the Kingdom.  Tammy says that she sees the Kingdom of God at the Downtown Y in Fort Worth where old white guys play basketball with young black guys. 

So, where do you see the Kingdom of God?