|In Happy Valley with my dear daughter.|
My thinking all started as we settled into the football stadium and sang our National Anthem and the Alma Mater. The Beaver Stadium crowd takes this seriously and they sing with much gusto--even those like the gentleman behind me that can't carry a tune! So I was thinking, when we join together in worship do we sing the Doxology this way? Do we sing praises and thanksgiving like we really mean it?
Additionally, people that are Penn State fans tend to be very enthusiastic, hospitable and welcoming. For example, Penn Staters tailgate like no others. The cars line up in make shift parking lots for miles around the stadium. Regardless of the weather and regardless of whether they even have tickets for the game or not, they spend the day in fellowship. Tailgating involves sharing a meal, catching up with old friends, making new friends, and setting aside the demands of daily life. So my analogy is that as Christians I wonder how often we take the time for this type of fellowship and hospitality? Tailgate enthusiasm is like a magnet. Moreover, since I was a student 20+ years ago I've witnessed the tailgate area around the stadium grow and grow. Does our faith have this type of magnetism? And what are we doing to grow the Church?
Finally as the Carrot Top Studio owner/artist I can't resist also making a visual connection in this line of thought. Penn State events prompt most everyone to be decked out in blue and white. Most everyone joins in the enthusiasm and wears it with pride. They call it spirit wear for a reason! This makes me remember the first game a friend's wife tailgated with us. She was not a Penn State graduate and having no idea what she was getting into she mistakenly wore red to the game...the opposing team's color. We of course love her regardless of this misfortune but she wanted to be part of the spirit and has since then accumulated blue and white in her wardrobe for such events. You know the passages about putting on the armor of God ? I'm not talking about t-shirts that proclaim our faith, but I'm wondering if our actions and deeds proclaim that we are Christians. And, is what we are wearing--what people see-causing others to come along side of us?
At a Penn State sporting event we sing the song "Fight on State", but I'm not in the stadium today. Today I say fight on Christians. I sign off to go sing my praises loudly and with passion, to be open to whom I can show hospitality to, and to dust my armor off. Join me today in these tasks....and if you're ever looking for a Penn State tailgate let me know because I'd love to have you over! Fight on!