Our pastor recently challenged members of our church to read the Bible more. I knew he was right. I don’t remember ever reading the Bible as a book. I have gone to church almost every week for my entire life.
Our pastor recently challenged members of our church to read the Bible more.
I knew he was right. I don’t remember ever reading the Bible as a book. I have gone to church almost every week for my entire life.
Most of the men in my family –– and the family I married into –– are ordained ministers. My mother was the organist for our church for almost three decades. My sister has spent more years than that as pianist in her churches.
I read the Bible a lot. But I have always spot read the Bible. I would study sections or read about events. Our pastor challenged us to read the Bible through in a year.
I felt like I should do better than that. So I started a plan that would allow me to finish the entire New Testament in 30 days. That way, I would have a head start on finishing the entire Bible in 2012.
But other things I have heard from pulpits aren’t as inspiring. Every year, at least once during football season, at least one pastor I listen to references how I am not excited enough at church.
“After all, at the high school or college football games, you yell and scream, but you don’t do that for Jesus,” they will say.
Matt Chandler of the Highland Village Baptist Church in Flower Mound, Texas, likes to point out that people do that because we were all born with an instinct to worship. Some worship at church. Others worship at stadiums.
I don’t think these pastors have ever been to a football game with me.
High school games don’t count. I am working at those games. I am furiously taking notes and photos.
But I don’t think God wants me to act at church like I do when I watch my favorite college and pro football teams. I am not a high-fiver or screamer. I tend to be entirely negative and brutally sarcastic.
If I brought my football watching attitude to church I would say things like, “Oh, come on, violin player! I can play that well, and I’ve never had lessons.” Or, “Seriously, you’re preaching out of Luke again! I should have just slept in.”
I would never say that at my church because we have a great pastor and violinist. But I do say that to the Oklahoma Sooners.
I don’t think my football worship style would fit in very well at church.
And despite the inexplicable success of Tim Tebow, I don’t think Jesus cares about football. But one thing about football is right in Jesus’ wheelhouse: tailgating.
After all, with Jesus in the truck, you wouldn’t even have to stop for groceries on the way to the stadium. As long as you had one pizza and a couple of hotdogs, you could feed everyone who came by.
The Gospels record two different occasions where Jesus used a couple fish and loaves of bread to feed thousands of people. Who knows how many other times he did something similar. After all, John ended his gospel by saying that Jesus did many other things, but there was no way to write down all of the things he did.
You know Jesus would have been the MVP of any tailgate party.
I can honestly say I have read a lot of verses I had never seen before despite decades of reading parts of the Bible.
I can’t wait to finish the New Testament and start the Old Testament. I know there are entire books I’ve never even seen. But no matter how much I read, I’ll never high-five my wife when I finish a book or learn something new.
That’s just not in my personality.