I am a spectator when it comes to sports.
I have never been on a sports team in my life. One of my first “dates” with my husband was watching him play on a softball team.
I sat in the stands – he played.
We have four children, all of whom played sports in high school and college – some more than others.
Last weekend we watched two grandchildren play on their respective basketball teams.
I have watched a LOT of ball games in my life and with grandchildren rapidly growing up, I can safely assume there will be many more games in the future. I enjoy watching games if I know the people playing. I am not an individual who will watch ANY sport or ANY team. I need some connection to make it interesting for me.
I remember when our children were in high school and I used to talk to people at ball games. Once someone said – “Gayle, you just come to these games to socialize.” I replied,”This IS my social life.”
There are advantages to being a spectator:
- you don’t get sweaty
- you don’t get hurt (unless a stray ball, bat, puck, etc. leaves the field of play)
- you don’t get called for fouls, get red cards, or ejected (well, unless you behave VERY badly)
- you don’t get yelled at by the coach
- you don’t get vilified by your teammates for messing up
- you can wear your own clothes
Yet, there are other benefits of sports that spectators never receive:
- no exercise
- no glory
- no camaraderie with teammates
- no sense of accomplishment for a game well-played
- no stories of personal athletic feats
- no cool uniforms/warm ups
I don’t want to be a spectator when it comes to being a part of the Body of Christ.
In fact, God does not want any spectators when it comes to being a Christian. It is very plain in the Bible that God has called us into His family to participate with Him in building the Body of Christ.
I Corinthians 12: 12-20 says –
12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
I want to participate fully in all that God has called me to do. God does not hold try outs – no one is cut from the team and we all get “playing time.” No one warms the bench in the Body of Christ.
The one prerequisite is to be willing.
God promises that He will equip us to play the position He calls us to. The only problem comes when we try to play someone else’s position. (Just like on a sports team – if you are the receiver – don’t play center!)
Verses 27 -28 go on to say –
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues.
There are other lists of responsibilities in the body of Christ – but SPECTATOR is never listed.
As the BIG GAME is played this weekend, and the VAST majority of us are spectators, remember – this is NOT our role as Christians. As we watch the players in the game, let it remind us that we have a part to play in something much more significant.