Southwest UMC

Spirituality of College Football, Week 1: Passion, Pageantry, and Tradition

This Week’s Text: Psalm 98

As I have been getting excited about the return of college football, I realized that there are so many things about college football that reflect what the church is supposed to be like!

There are lots of examples of passion and pageantry from around the nation. There is a whole set of experiences unique to each school that mean so much to the people there. Just the sight of the colors or uniform or logo is enough to get your heart rate up. There is so much similarity sometimes between the passion, pageantry, and traditions of college football and the church that it’s not hard to make some connections.

But let me ask you- when was the last time you had that level of passion for the church?

Obviously, church and football are not the same, and they never will be the same. So setting aside the obvious nature of football as a form of entertainment and as an athletic contest, what do we actually get out of a college football game? What is it that we are actually excited about?

You see, when we get involved with college football, it ends up being about something much bigger than ourselves. This is even more true with God and with the church. There’s a reason you’re here on a Sunday morning. You have had an experience with God and with the church. This place, your relationship with God- they have all meant something to you at some point.

The point of church is that we are here because of a God who has called us here. We are here because God has done something in the death and resurrection of Jesus that we could never repay, and so we gather each week to say thank you.

The core, unifying factor in college football in my experience is tradition. Gator football meant something to my dad, and he passed that meaning and excitement down to me. He shared his experience with me, pointed out the things that held meaning, and, in doing so, he lit that fire within me. We are called to do the same with our faith.

In the same way that we share in the passion, pageantry, and tradition of college football- in the same way we allow it to unify us around something bigger then ourselves- in the same way that it has the power to change our mood and get us excited just by thinking about it- and the way that our passion for our team is contagious to others- we have the opportunity to do church that way. And at the end of the day, the thing that unifies us here and fills us with life is greater than any game that could ever be played.

Posted in Sermons, Spirituality of College Football on September 1, 2013. Tags: , ,