The Die Hards

Today we discovered the Final Four in college basketball’s March Madness. While an orange ball was tossed back and forth down 94 feet or so of highly polished maple, across the country men and women shouted from their living rooms with reckless abandon in support of their favored team. Once all was said and done, many made their “voice” known about the outcome – supportive or otherwise.

I’m often caught off guard by the intensity of truly die hard sports fans. Their devotion. Their adoration. Their loyalty.

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More than 2,000 years ago people in Jerusalem felt like this. As prophets had foretold, a man named Jesus would enter the city, and when He did, His disciples (“Fans” of His, if you will) got excited. They began to shout – words of praise and honor and recognition. They acknowledged who they knew Him to be and all the miracles they had seen through Him. When the religious leaders of the day heard about this, they told Jesus to tell the rowdy bunch to be quiet. His response was that even if He did, the stones would cry out.

This gets me thinking today. I don’t want the stones to ever have to.

O God, as long as I have breath, let me never be unwilling or afraid to speak out for You — to acknowledge who You are and what You’ve done and who You desire we be in the world as Your image-bearers. Perfectly imperfect as I may be at it, help me to strive daily to try.

Today we discovered which teams will be playing in the Final Four; but it also marks the start of “Passion Week” – the seven days leading up to Jesus’ death and resurrection. I try to put myself in that place 2,000 years ago and imagine if I would be one shouting and acknowledging this Man? I carry that further and know that as a celebrator of Easter, or Resurrection Sunday, I base that on the conviction that Jesus is as alive today as He was then. Would I shout for Him today with that same kind of uninhibitedness? Devotion? Adoration? Loyalty?

Do I offer Jesus any less than the most die hard sports fan?

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He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”
Luke 19:40

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