Note the contrasts between the average football fan’s worship of a pigskin and the average Christian’s worship of God. Football fans pay a hefty sum to park their cars and walk a long distance to the stadium. The churchgoer expects free parking close to the building. Football contests are noisy with loud cheering and the enthusiasm of the fans. The churchgoer sits in grim silence, and objects to loud music. Football stadium seats are narrow, backless, and assigned. The churchgoer hates a hard pew and insists on a particular seat.
Football games always last well past three hours, and if they go to overtime, fans consider it a bonus. The churchgoer expects worship to take only an hour. If the service goes into overtime, the churchgoer displays great movements of agitation and frustration.
Actually, things don’t have to be that way. At my church, season tickets are free, and if you come early enough, you can sit in the same seat every week. Our seats are comfortable, the music is excellent, and the home team – Jesus – wins every time. And we try to keep it to an hour. By any measure, the best arena you will ever attend is the one down the street, with the steeple.
With a new year dawning, find a place of worship this Sunday.