God Sticks To Us. God Sticks By Us.
I begin this post with the confession that I am not a huge sports fanatic. But if you know me, you'd know I have my favorite teams that I cheer for. Other than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for football, all the other teams are from Los Angeles (a place I have called home since 1989).
One team in particular, I have loved since my childhood. And that is the Los Angeles Lakers. For decades they have dominated the NBA in one way or another. Except for now. The last few season they have, for lack of better or kinder/gentler word, sucked.
Every serious sports fan knows that there will be some good years and bad years. (As for my beloved Bucs there's only been one good year: 2003.) It should go without saying, a true fan sticks by their team no matter what. For as long as I can remember, that's been pretty easy to do with the Lakers. Not so much now. The last three years have been the worst in the franchise's history. Which has made being a fan difficult. And humbling.
Just this week, a group of Jr. High School boys heckled me for wearing my Lakers hat to P.E. class. I try to tell them that you have to love your team no matter what, good times and bad times. But it didn't stop them from laughing at the sorry state the Lakers are in.
I get it. We all want our team to be the best because we all want to be on the winning side. That's why nobody ever cheers for the Washington General, but instead root for the Harlem Globetrotters. My own kids are the perfect example. They don't particularly like sports, but on those rare occasions that we watch a game together, they root for the team who's ahead. Even if it means switching in the final minute, or the bottom of the 9th. This drives me nuts! Imagine if God behaved this way.
What would life be like if God had no loyalty? How would that affect your relationship with him or with others? The bible teaches us that God shows no partiality. And for good reason. It evens out the playing field. God, in fact, is faithful to a fault by our standards. But we could learn a lot here. You see, God does not give up on Israel nor on us...no matter what. In his letter to the Romans, Paul says God loves us so much that he is willing to give us up to our sin. But, as a wise person replied, God loves you even more to leave you there. Simply put, God is faithful. And God's faithfulness not only sticks to us, it also sticks by us.
God's love for us is so real, so passionate, that nothing will stand in God's way to shower us with an abundance of true, unbias love. As we draw near to Passion Week, we are reminded of that love that John's gospel captures in chapter 3, verse 16. Good Friday is a perfect reminder of God's faithfulness and love for the world. There on the cross, Jesus did not give up on us or abandon us. Instead Jesus gave himself for us. This is God's grace. Given to you, me, and everyone. Simply because God loves you, me, and everyone. Winners and losers alike. And just as the Lakers continue to chase after another NBA championship...God continues to chase after us.
An ex-copywriter turned punk rock pastor and peacemaker who dedicates his life to making the world a better place for all humanity.
"that they all might be one" ~John 17:21
“Prius vita quam doctrina.”
~ St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274)
* “Life is more important than doctrine.”