On Sundays, there is something powerful going on in this place. It’s strong and electrifying, moving people out of their seats, stomping, shouting and joyfully hugging each other. There are no empty seats to be found.
They come faithfully, inclement weather and distance is not a challenge. They sit together, all races, young adults, seniors, children, the disabled and all in between. The “love thy neighbor as yourself" concept is clearly demonstrated in this place.
After the masses disperse, these relational communities of people call and discuss what they experienced on Sunday and impatiently await the next Sunday.
Millions across America come to these places on Sundays. They are so inspired about what is going on inside that some secure their seats a year in advance. Those who can’t afford to come join the masses via electronic media.
Then there are those who sit alone in the confinement of their homes, watching with invisible signs that say, “Don’t call me; I don’t want to miss anything." Others sit in parking lots, watching by the latest technology.
Is it our faith-based congregations? Wrong! It’s any sports arena.
Yes, there is praying going on. It’s said, before some teams take to the court to face a tough opponent, they kneel in locker rooms to pray for victory. What biblical character relates to that statement? Could it be David when he faced Goliath?
Sometimes coaches call for pastoral guidance to teach their teams about the power of faith, team spirit and responsibility.
Have you ever wondered why a coach summons his losing team to the sideline with a minute left on the clock? His faith might be as small as a grain of mustard seed, but it’s manifested in his belief and evidenced by a miraculous three-point score with seconds left on the clock? What about the opposing team? Do they pray? In this case, whose prayers are most likely answered?
Let’s take a glimpse inside the locker room to see what each coach is saying to his team before facing an opponent.
Coach Doubtful: "I don’t want you guys going out there making me look bad and disappointing your fans. You better win this game. We have lost four too many already. Don’t put my job on the line by playing like I am a bad coach. Do whatever it takes to win."
Coach Faithful: “There’s great talent in each player in this room. I feel my coaching has prepared you for this victory. There’re something each of you must take to the court. It’s a team spirit, determination, brotherhood, faith and humility. I want you to be energized by the love and faith of your fans. It’s not always about a victory, but it’s how you play the game."