Zealous Fans
Church attendance.

65,000 people traveled 2,000 miles for the national championship game, January 2003. Some
traveled closer to 3,000 by the time they made their weird connections through Atlanta,
Baltimore, Dallas, Denver, Chicago, Los Angeles, Los Vegas, etc. They spent hundreds of
dollars to get there. The seats (bleachers) at Ohio Stadium (known as The Shoe) are so small
that if you stand up, you may not get to sit down again. The temperatures at The Shoe may be
anywhere from 90° to 15°. Yet, 105,000 fans crowd the stadium for every home game, and
more would go if the stadium would hold more people. They sit in the weather on backless
bleachers for two to three hours, and revell if the game goes into overtime. Activities, whether it
is work, "honey do" list items, and even weddings are planned around the games.

Do Christians show this same zeal about attending services? If the weather is bad on the
outside, do Christians complain about going to a heated and/or air-conditioned building? Do
Christians complain about the parking, and use it as an excuse? Do Christians complain
about the number of people? Do Christians complain about the service if it goes into
overtime? Do Christians plan their activities around services? Do Christians make sure they
don't miss a service?

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some is... (Hebrews
10:25).

Worship attention.

105,000 fans watch every play, and hang on every word of the coaches and players associated
with Ohio State football. Not only do they watch every play, they watch the replays. They watch
the broadcasts. They listen to the radio. When they go to a game, they want to see the game.

Do Christians go to worship to worship, or are they concerned on when they can leave?
Attitude toward overtime shows that. Are they more concerned with the preacher staying within
a certain time, or presenting a good lesson? Do they hang on every word the preacher and
elders, and other worship leaders say? Are they "into" the worship, or are they merely "at"
worship?

God is a spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:24)

Church pride.

Buckeye pride is second to none. Shirts, hats and banners sold out in the stores within a few
hours the day after the national championship game. Stores in Columbus predicted it would
be even more hectic after the students returned to school. Buckeye paraphanalia is to be
found everywhere. People are proud to be Buckeyes. Granted, sports fanatics can at times be
obnoxious about their pride; but, there is no doubt they are willing to let people know they are
fans.

But, how proud are Christians of their Savior and church? I do not necessarily believe we have
to engage in what I commonly refer to as "bumpersticker religion," where you wear t-shirts and
hats, and "wallpaper" your car with bumperstickers. But there are times Christians have the
opportunity to let their faith be known. Do Christians shrink back in shame, or do they speak
out boldly with pride, not in who they are, but in who Jesus is and what He has done for them?
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