Are you ready for some football!? It’s that time again – high schools, colleges, and
the NFL are back at it. The pre-season is over and, for many, football is the
most important season of them all. Sometimes, enthusiasm for football
overshadows participation at church on Sunday morning. Luckily, the rise of
digital video recorders has allowed faithful Christians to record their team and
attend church. Wouldn’t it be interesting if the reverse was true – that
Christians could record their church service while attending a football game? I
think I will drop that idea right now for obvious reasons. Besides, Christianity
is not a spectator sport.
This year, football has taken on a more personal meaning for me. One of our
parishioners is working for the San Diego Chargers and is getting to know the
players and their families. He has been telling me stories that give those
imposing helmets and faceguards a more human side.
The NFL pre-season is a time for teams to try out new players and make decisions about backup players, which in football-speak is called “depth.” If you follow the Chargers, you know they did not have a very impressive pre-season. It seems pretty clear to me that the Chargers need to work on their depth. But the good news is that the preseason is over. The Chargers, like every NFL team, have a clean slate. Everything is wiped clean and a new season begins and it doesn’t matter how bad their preseason was.
The notion of a clean slate and a brand new season filled with hope got me thinking.
The NFL system of ending the preseason and starting the regular season with a clean slate is like our life with Christ. When we ask for forgiveness, God, through Christ, forgives us. . . .period.. . .clean slate. Christ forgives and gives a gift –
life with a new season of hope. Just like the Chargers’ preseason record of 1
win and 3 losses doesn’t carry over to the new season, our lives with Christ are
cleaned and a new season with Him begins. Our preseason, the time before we met our Lord and Savior, has been forgiven.
And, like hope found in Christ, Chargers’ fans are hoping for a good year. We too are filled with hope after we are forgiven. I trust, and have faith, that our
earthly seasons will end with a joyous celebration of the