24 Feb A New Thing
As we move through our lame excuse for a winter, some realities have set in. One, the New England Patriots won another Super Bowl, and nothing can change that. Two, in a vacuum of entertainment options, new opportunities present themselves.
The Patriots are polarizing. People either hate them or love them. I would fall in the latter category (sorry Falcons fans). Regardless, with the close of the Super Bowl, football ends, and many go into mourning…serious doldrums. It happens every year, and alternatives often emerge to get our attention.
This year, football did not end. There is a new league, Alliance of American Football, that closely resembles the NFL but with some improvements. Some improvements are: no television timeouts; 60% fewer “full-screen” commercials; no extra point kicks or kickoffs; fewer instant replays; shorter play clock; and several others. An interesting factor connects many of the changes: time.
League developers suggest that a standard movie represents our attention span, and they wanted to move the game times closer to the ~two-hour length of a movie. It is funny to me that they seem more concerned about the use of our time then we are, but maybe that’s why those changes resonate. Changes and improvements allow for new patterns to emerge.
Jesus was born into a world where the establishment was everything. There was no freedom. The Romans and the Jewish authorities were the perennial winners—the champions…yes, I just compared Bill Belichick to Caesar Augustus. As they tried to strengthen their hold on authority, they could not meet the needs of their people.
We find ourselves in a world that is pushing back against conventional wisdom and institutions. The people that are telling us what we need and how we can get it are interested in power and authority. The ways of this world are not the ways of God.
Jesus is counter-cultural. God knew we needed a reboot, and Jesus came to show us a better way. We can exhaust ourselves trying to satisfy our needs with what the world offers, but only Jesus provides what we need.
We saw Jesus move in Shoreliners last Sunday as we celebrated our first baptism and two affirmations of baptism. The water was cooler than we planned but the Spirit moved, and we followed the last command Jesus gave His followers: Go, make disciples, and baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God is not static—not limited by convention—and we need to look for the new things God is doing.
I don’t know how the AAF will play out, but at least they are addressing some problems. Many feel lost and disjointed with what the world offers, but Jesus offers us more. Join us this Sunday as we learn more about the love Jesus has for us and how we can share that with others.
Blessings to you,