Countdown to Kickoff!

I have a confession: I LOVE college football! I am one of the crazy ones who follows the sport all year long and September through the first week of January is my favorite time of year. So I will apologize ahead of time for an overuse of illustrations in sermons, for the tired eyes on Sunday mornings in the fall, and for not shaking your hand if your team beats my team (I’m just kidding about the last one…I’m not that bad…most of the time).

There is something special about being a football game and enjoying the pageantry and traditions. When the single trumpeter plays the first 14 notes of the “Battle Hymn of Bulldog Nation” from the southwest corner of the stadium, I get chills. It’s an amazing sight to see Clemson players run down the hill into Death Valley as they touch Howard’s Rock. Of course, one of the greatest traditions happens at the end of the Army-Navy game when both schools sing both teams’ alma maters to the fans.

While the old traditions are meaningful, it seems there are always new traditions being created. One of the best new traditions from the last few years has been the Iowa Hawkeyes fan base waving to the children’s hospital that overlooks the stadium. Patients from the hospital stand in the windows as fans wave at them at the end of the first quarter.

I’ve been thinking about these traditions a lot recently as we prepare for our Tailgate Sunday this weekend. This Sunday, our two services will come together at 10:15 AM in the gym for worship and fellowship as ONE church. While we may cheer for different teams on the football field or worship in different places on Sunday morning, we remember this weekend that we are ONE in our faith. There are old traditions that we embrace and new traditions that we welcome.

Paul writes in his letter to the Galatians, “in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all ONE in Christ Jesus,” (Galatians 3:26-28). This weekend, we acknowledge our differences and we celebrate our unity in Christ.

Have a wonderful weekend and I look forward to being with you in worship on Sunday morning at 10:15 AM!

Together in Christ,
Matt

P.S. This Sunday will be Hillary Davison’s last Sunday with us as our worship leader. Hillary and her husband, Keyes, are expecting their first child in the next couple of weeks, and we are sending her out with prayers and blessings. Hillary has given time and energy in leading our contemporary service for the last 11 years. When you see Hillary this weekend, please remember to thank her and let her know that you will keep her in your prayers. Thank you, Hillary!