A story on ESPN caught my attention the other day as I sat down for breakfast and I learned that the funeral industry has begun a relationship with Major League Baseball and hope to have similar licencing agreements with Nascar, the NHL, and the NFL. MLB has agreed to have their team logos printed and embroidered on the outside of urns and caskets and also inside the caskets. In Europe, it had even gone to the level of people wishing to have their ashes held in urns at their favorite soccer team’s arena. It was amazing to me the level at which people were willing to go to show their devotion to their favorite team. So much so that you wonder if that team was more important to them than God.
I then began to spend some time reading God’s Word and I just happened to be reading the first part of Psalm 115 which says this: Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness. Why do the nations say, “Where is their God?” Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him. But their idols are silver and gold, made by the hands of men. They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but they cannot see; they have ears, but cannot hear, noses, but they cannot smell;” and so on. For some reason as I read this, I had the picture of a sports team mascot in my head. Now I am not saying team mascots in and of themselves are bad, but I do wonder if for some of us they represent an idol in our lives. This passage of scripture goes on to say in verse 11: “You who fear him, trust in the Lord”.
It is amazing to me how fired up people get when it comes to their favorite team. I believe God desires us to glorify Him even as we watch sports. It is amazing the ability God has given certain athletes. What if the next time we saw a dude fly in to the basket for an amazing dunk we thought…Wow! God created that! That is incredible! Also, watching Christian Athletes who you know are are actually worshiping God with their ability is something to really glorify God about which brings me to my next point…The level of importance athletes and coaches place on being whatever it is that their team is called can also be very sinful. Analyze your own heart and meditate on this scripture: “all things were created by Him and for Him.” – Colossians 1:16. To me, this has to mean that sports were created for Him and as God creates us with a passion to compete, let us worship Him through sports and not actually worship sports themselves.