Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Celebration is Coming

After the recent World Series Game 6 victory by the St. Louis Cardinals, I saw a comment about the great celebration that took place and a comparison to the lack of celebration among Christians when a person becomes a believer.

I certainly agree that we have become somewhat apathetic about celebrating the event of Christian conversion. I have even stated similar sentiments in the past. There should be a celebration...something more than a raise of the hand and a hearty "Amen" is most definitely in order.

However, I think that I may have something to offer in the way of insight to the casual way that we accept new believers into the fold.

If we stay with the baseball analogy and look at the Cardinals' 2011 season, we find that there were 100 wins prior to the Championship game. The regular season record was 90 wins, 72 losses. Add in three wins in the NLDS, four against the Brewers in the NLCS and the four wins in the World Series for a grand total of 101 wins in 2011. (btw, that's one fewer than the Phillies' regular season win total of 102)

Each and every win was important to the Cardinals' success. If they had one less win during the season, they would not have made it to the post season.  Each and every win had its own minor celebration. There were high fives, fist bumps, handshakes and slaps on the butt to acknowledge each win. But real celebrations like winning the World Series -- no, those are reserved for ... well, winning the World Series.

There was a big celebration on the last day of the regular season when they won their 90th game (and when Atlanta lost their 73rd game) to clinch a seat in post season play. The celebration was bigger when they beat Philadelphia in Game 5 of the Division Series and bigger yet when they beat the Brewers for the National League Championship. The on-field celebration after winning Game 6 was bigger than usual for a Game 6 victory. But then again, nobody has ever comeback from being one strike away from elimination -- TWICE in the same World Series game. But there were no celebrations to compare to the one after the win on Friday night. That win was the one that each Major League team strives for; the only one that really matters. That is the win that ends the season and declares the winners THE WORLD CHAMPIONS!

So what does all of that have to do with Christians and our lack of grand celebrations when lost souls are saved?

Well, I think that there is a realization that there is still a lot of work to be done; a lot of battles to be fought before the grand celebration takes place.
When the Cardinals won the tenth game of the season, they knew that they would be back on the field the following day, continuing towards their goal. They knew that there would be more battles; some victories and that they would suffer many losses. They would contend with injuries. Some days would be hot. Some days they would play in the rain. Some days they would be tired from a late game the night before or a long plane ride. Some days they would be thinking about personal issues and dealing with family illnesses or loss. But mercilessly, the season went on without regard to the comfort of the players.

Could it be that we sometimes focus on the work to be done and forget to celebrate the victories along the way? Have we forgotten how important each victory really is? Are we missing out on celebrating milepost victories? Maybe we have become too casual; too apathetic about the daily victories. Maybe we need to remind each other that each victory counts; that each victory is worthy of a fist bump or fanny slap.

My encouragement to you is this:
Celebrate each victory.
Remember that there is still work to be done.
Keep your eyes on Jesus and look forward to the day of His Second Coming when we will celebrate in a fashion that will make all worldly celebrations look like a simple slap on the butt!

John <><

1 comment:

Thomas Gamble said...

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