I wanted to let you know that my humor book, John in the John, was published today via eLectio Publishing. Please go check it out and consider buying a copy! Below is a sample of the content and I want to urge you to consider sending me similar stories/devo pieces that you may have written for a second volume!
The next installment will be Gospels in the John and is an anthology style devo kind of like Chicken Soup for the Soul but with greater humor and depth! Check out my submissions website by clicking here!
Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the king of Israel!” John 9, 12-13 NIV
I live in the frigid, purple tundra of Minnesota. We don’t get real excited about things very often; we are pretty solid examples of the “frozen chosen,” as my old pastor used to say when he thought people ought to act more excited about their faith. Especially up Germanic/Scandihoovian north (MN is actually the furthest north state in the continental 48, in case you didn’t know that,) we find it difficult to get super motivated—but when we do get excited, we’re all in.
In January 2016 our NFL team, the Vikings, played the third coldest game in NFL history with our playoff hopes on the line. In fact, it was so cold that the Gjallarhorn (a giant ram’s horn-like battle trumpet the size of a small bus) shattered in the frigid air. There I was, in the coldest seat in the house: top row of the outdoor stadium, in the shade of the announcer booth, and facing directly into the wind. A guy a few seats away went the entire game shirtless while my beard frosted white and froze solid (and my children abandoned their seats for the shelter of the stairwell).
We all get excited about things we value and we are willing to pay a price for those things. I’m not just talking about paying the price of tickets. We want to be involved and help our team; there’s something called “the twelfth man on the field.” Crowds participate in the game; their enthusiastic screams can change the dynamic of the game and even cause confusion and errors by the opposing team. Real fans are willing to sacrifice their comfort and stand for hours in the sub-zero air in order to be a part of that experience.
There’s another sports term called “fair-weather fans.” These are the people who say they are fans, but usually only when things go well and it’s easy and exciting to watch from comfortable seats. They wear a team jersey if the team’s been winning: their support is subjective to feelings (like if the team is on a winning streak.) A perfect example is the crowd who cheered for Jesus’s triumphal entry and disappeared once he was arrested and Barabbas was freed instead of Jesus. Their excitement was fickle.
The Vikings lost that game when Blair Walsh missed a short kick that he should have made under any normal circumstances. There I was: coldest seat in the house… wearing a #3 Blair Walsh jersey. It’s a good thing my love of my home-team isn’t based on whether or not we’re winning.
Today’s a good day to check your heart. Are you really excited about your faith, or are you a fair-weather fan for team Jesus? Do more than just wear the jersey; today is your chance to get in the game.