Friday, November 24, 2017

What I learned at the Turkey Bowl

Yesterday marked the 4th engagement of the Christ Church Turkey Bowl! There were a number of stand out moments on a surprisingly muddy field. Xander Scofield, Jay Li and Josiah VM all caught touchdown passes. Ethan Visser intercepted every ball thrown his way. Perhaps topping them all was the fact that old guys like Jim Visser, David DeJong, Bryan Burke, Robin Luymes and yours truly managed to play with out getting hurt!

The Turkey Bowl was also a place to learn a number of things. For instance, linemen don’t often make the list of favorite players. Canadian football is the butt of many jokes. The women can really play! But most importantly of all, if you are trying to stand out, do not mix with the mud. Here I reference our ball marker.

It came with the flag football set. It is a bright orange little bean bag whose job it is to brightly stand for the truth of where the line of scrimmage is. (Otherwise guys like David De Jong try to take advantage.)

The problem was, on the afore-mentioned muddy field, over the course of the game the little bean bag could no longer do its job well because it was blending in with its surroundings. We were constantly scanning the ground wondering where in the world the line was? Mixing with the mud made our marker indistinguishable!

A few of us commented that there is a lesson here for the church. We too are called to stand forth and illuminate the truth of where things stand in the world, particularly in regards to guilt and grace, reprobation and redemption. To the extent that we mix with mud we become more and more indistinguishable from our surroundings. Eventually we may not shine at all.

Hymn writer Joseph Hart captured this a number of years ago with his hymn Dearly We’re Bought. Note here that themes of thankfulness, contentedness, and purity all flow from the truth of who we are; the dearly bought, highly esteemed, redeemed of the Lord.

Let’s raise our thankful voices together, stay out of the mud, and shine forth the truth of the Gospel to the world around us!

Dearly We’re Bought
Come raise your thankful voice,
Ye souls redeemed with blood;
Leave earth and all its toys,
And mix no more with mud. 
Dearly we're bought, highly esteemed;
Redeemed, with Jesus' blood redeemed
Dearly we're bought, highly esteemed;
Redeemed, with Jesus' blood redeemed. 
With heart, and soul, and mind,
Exalt redeeming love;
Leave worldly cares behind,
And set your minds above. 
Lift up your ravished eyes,
And view the glory given;
All lower things despised,
Ye citizens of heaven. 
Be to this world as dead,
Alive to that to come;
Our life in Christ is hid,
Who soon shall call us home.

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