By Tommy Rush
These are strange times! Northwestern State begins their football season in two weeks on February 20 and the Super Bowl will be played this coming Sunday. For avid football fans, which probably is 80% of people in the South, it’s a dream come true. We can watch football until football starts again!
Pastors often jokingly say that our church members know more about football than they know about church. You may not realize football and church use some of the same terms. So let me share with you football fans some terms that will help you understand church. In church, “blocking” means someone who stands and talks in front of the coffee pot. A “draw play” is what children and many adults do on their bulletin during worship. The “end zone” is the back pews that people fight to get into. “Interference” occurs when a baby won’t quit crying during the message. “Offsides” happens when someone sits in the pew that you normally sit in. “Illegal motion” occurs when someone leaves before the worship service is completely over. And the “extra point” happens when the pastor says, “in conclusion” and then keeps on talking!
Of course I’m only joking, but if you’re attending a worship service for the first time it can definitely seem strange. But attending anything for the first time is a strange experience! Attending a football game can be strange for someone who’s attending for the first time. Coach Bud Wilkinson who coached the Oklahoma Sooners from 1947-1963 often said, “Football is where 22 players on the field are desperately in need of rest in front of 60,000 people in the stands desperately in need of exercise!” It has also been said that professional football is really strange. Where else will you find 60,000 screaming fans that each paid $100 to sit in a stadium that costs $45 million to watch players paid $7 million dispute the possession of a bag of air costing $35?
All joking aside, I pray that you and your family will have a “Super Sunday.” It’s my prayer that if you have never attended a worship service or if it has been a long time since you have walked through the doors of a church, I pray you will push through the “strange” feelings and thoughts and worship the God who loves you this weekend. I also pray that wherever you choose to worship, you will find a warm and friendly group of people who welcome you with open arms and smiling faces. And it’s also my prayer that when the worship service is over and you head for home, you will know beyond doubt that you have been with God’s people and you’ve experienced God’s love. Have a Super Sunday!