Posted in Sport

God and rugby

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Only 3 people came to church last night.  So we had decided to cancel it.
I didn’t mind; I got to go for a beer instead. 😉
But I had prepared a message on “God and rugby” and thought I’d still share it. Some thoughts. Take them or leave them:

SERMON INTRO

I feel very unqualified to talk about a rugby.
Perhaps, I’m not even a ‘real’ South African… I’m not a rugby fan at all.
I love football. That’s my thing!
Anyway, I thought, our church, we, need to be relevant. So let’s look at the World Cup Rugby and see what we could learn.

Regardless of not being a fan, I did enjoy this interception try:

So, can I share some numbers with you?

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Makes you feel good, right?
Makes you feel proud?

Let me put up some more numbers:

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Now how do you feel?
Hmm, did you see what happened on Facebook and other social media the day after?
Were the comments positive?
Far from it…
People were hurtful with their words and posts…

A BIG QUESTION IS:
How are we all so emotionally attached to sport?
And then sometimes we’re so emotionally detached from people…and God?

PART 1 – POSITIVES
– South Africans are spirited people. We are passionate with our support. We celebrate well. We fall hard. It’s our spirit.
– The unifying community created by supporters is incredible.
– Remember the movie, Invictus? Nelson Mandela used “sport” (namely rugby) as a common language among the people (white & black) of South Africa.
– And is there not something so magical being at a live game? In that moment, the cares of the world fade away in the background.

So there are definitely positives!
And maybe it’s easy to be excited about sport because it’s so tangible!
We can be at the stadium.
Watch the game on TV.
Read up all the sports news.
Follow the lives of the players.

PART 2 – NEGATIVES
– Like many things, have we also made an IDOL of sport?
– Our teams are more important than the very essence of our lives?

I read an article recently about an American who visited the UK recently and he observed this: In England…

“Football is a religion. Religion is a sport.”

Could that be substituted with ‘rugby’?

PART 3 – QUESTIONS
– Okay, so sport is easy to follow and get into it. It’s so tangible!
– Question, how is God still tangible?

i) Some would say through scripture.
ii) Perhaps another human being? – When I hang out with my niece or nephew; and sense their wonder and see life through their eyes. There is a tangible moment of God through them.
iii) A “peace” that you feel inside. I’ve felt that. I’ve heard others talk about that. How do ‘argue’ with that feeling? That calm…
iv) A FREEDOM we feel. With faith in God, people have felt truly FREE

– Free from an addiction.
– Free from the opinion of others.
– Free from a stronghold.
v) Or how about creation:

romans1-20

Seriously, I am faced with all sorts in creation and I am fascinated! There is something far Bigger behind all that. I find confidence, in declaring that the Creator of it, is God.

PART 4 – SPORT & HEALTH
– When I go for a run or play some football. I am always thankful that I can run. I am thankful for my health.
– I always think of my dad (some of you have met him already). He had a stroke 8 years ago. He can’t walk very far. He’d give anything to go for a good hike in the Drakensberg again.
– So when I hear people complain “it’s too far to walk” Seriously?!
– I used to run a sports ministry down in Hillcrest. An inter church soccer tournament. I insisted that we start off each game with a prayer. Just to thank God for our health. The ability to run and play.

Also on the topic of health; I sometimes try and imagine (and yet I can’t) how difficult this must be:

PART 5 – CAN WE HAVE SOME SCRIPTURE WITH THIS SERMON PLEASE?

Hebrews 12:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Isn’t that a great image?
A cloud of witness supporting you.
When a church does community well; that’s a beautiful thing!

I always wonder how it must feel as a Springbok player (or any country) to run onto the field… and have all those fans and supporters cheering you on.
To have that honour of playing for your country.

Perhaps, there is a link there.
We get to “represent” God.

How do we do that? “Fix our eyes on Jesus”
Hmm, maybe… there is an ACTUAL way of making things with God tangible…

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Author:

I am an aspiring and up and coming writer. Dubbed the wondering wanderer. Do come check out my stories.

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