Wednesday, June 06, 2012

I don't fit in

I don't fit in.

I just spent an hour reading tweet after tweet and status-update after status-update  of persons commenting on how Oklahoma City's NBA team, the Thunder, won the Western Conference - and is headed to the NBA finals.

I don't get the "'our' boys" and "'our' team" and "'we' beat them" mindset. 

I played team sports - and know what it means to be part of a team, but it's not "our team" - it's a bunch of players that - well, "play" a ball game - and a bunch of them that, truth be told, do it for the love of the game, no doubt - but play for the pay-cheque.  They don't play for "me" or "us" - they play for themselves.  And, they're "players" after all.  They play!

Thousands - tens of thousands of dollars will be spent on game shirts - just tonight - and in these coming days.  That doesn't include hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars spent on other sports team paraphernalia, tickets to games, travel for persons committed to see the games live, food concessions and alcohol concessions for games.

What's got me worked up tonight is the fact that a local, big church worship pastor had multiple tweets about thanking "GOD" (yes, all caps) for this "blessing" of a win.

I feel quite confident that God - the One affirmed in Scripture - does not care about an NBA team (or NFL, or NHL, or MBA, or College . . . or . . .)

I feel quite confident that God does not partner with athletic events. 

I feel quite confident that God doesn't want persons spending on "merchandise" that trends for a time while issues of sustainable justice never get traction!

Mind you.  Please.  I am not holier than thou!  I am not perfect.  I do not think God is against "play" nor sport nor fun nor enjoyment.


God sides with justice and equitable acts of kindness and charity that lift up the poor.

God sides with benevolent care extended to those in need.

God sides with our attempts to embody the Love of the Kingdom of God.

I won't list here the crimes, plunder, violence, hurt, terror that is being reported that we know of . . . because the list would be too long to note.  But, it seems to me that God would have us to be more concerned with these issues - than with the "play" of a "game." 

I wonder how many Believers in my local community could tell me the score of the game from tonight - while being clueless to how man nations and places and people are in turmoil - locally, nationally, and worldwide - in the news right now! 

I like sports.  I enjoy a good game.


For me, the fanaticism with the game, and the team and the hype of "our" "win" in this season, does not make sense when it is set over against issues of justice and peacemaking that need Christian attention and Christian focus.

I don't fit in.

It's just a game - while, in the world health, wholeness, sustainability, care, kindness, generosity, peacemaking, and justice should be the "hype" of reasonable people everywhere.

I don't fit in as a fanatical Thunder fan - I think and hope, because my allegiance is with a 1st Century Galilean peasant.

I dare to believe that the life of all people in the world would be radically different, if Christians everywhere focused away from the "team" and toward the Kingdom.

I dare to believe that the life of all people in the world would be radically different, if Christians everywhere focused their fanatacism on self-giving love for the sake of loving the world.

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