Celebrate Marriage and Football!
Who is ready for some football?
This morning I walked outside my back door and to my great joy found that it is almost here! Fall is in the air! Well, kinda. It was only 92 degrees with 50% humidity, so it felt cooler. 😊 Anyway, fall is coming and bringing with it his best friend – college football! I love this time of year! Geaux Tigers! I love going to a Saturday night game in Baton Rouge to celebrate with 102,000 of my best friends. It is awesome! I love the game of football. I love watching a group of young men playing not for themselves, but rather for each other and for their school. This dedication to others is a glimpse of the Gospel in action, even if the players on the field don’t realize it. I think football is worth a cheer, a shake of a pom-pom and a shout for joy!
I am a celebrator; an extrovert who recharges by being around people! I love any chance to get together with family and friends and celebrate life. I am always up for a party. My children refer to me as Cam from the TV show, Modern Family. Other than the fact that Cam is an overweight, gay man, I’m really not that offended. You see, Cam loves life and tries to celebrate each and every day. Me too! And during football season, a tailgate is a picture-perfect celebration. Sitting in mix matched lawn chairs around a smoldering grill next to a plastic white folding table covered with a purple and gold tablecloth is perfection! I love leisurely catching up with dear friends, and starting some new friendships with the nearby tailgaters, while we consume my spicy shrimp right off the grill. I love talking about the upcoming game or the latest football controversy while watching a random football game on a satellite TV hooked up to my husband’s truck. I adore being a part of the positive atmosphere before the game! Everyone is happy – home team and visiting team. Both camps have victory within their reach and everyone is full of hope. There aren’t that many times in life when 100,000 people gather and are truly of one accord with the same thought and desire. But once in the stadium, “everybody wants to win!” This is why we celebrate before the game, and not after. After the final whistle blows and one team has been denied its dream, fights sometime break-out as disgruntled fans deal with disappointment (see The Grudge Game https://wordwashedwife.com/blog/2017/6/5/grudge-game). Passion, sadly, can be a two edged sword.
When we don’t make it to the game, I celebrate in my living room with Jody, my husband, and any and all friends who can watch with us. Our typical football menu includes dip and chips (or celery if the scale dictates), wings and gumbo! We celebrate every beautiful play and stand in awe at amazing God-given talent. We celebrate with the winners and grieve with the losers. Football mirrors life, huh? I think I may have been a cheerleader without ever having picked up a pom pom! This football party is an every Saturday affair for Jody and me from September through the playoffs in January. We pull for LSU, but watch every available game. During random games, I often find myself pulling for the under dog and before the game is over, I have read a few back stories of the talented players from both teams. By the end of the game, I feel as though I have made yet another “friend.” To me, football is a personal game, and at times, a spiritual one too. I earnestly pray for no injuries and no bad sportsmanship. I pray that the field of friendly battle will be character-building and that the athleticism that God blessed each player with will be showcased. And truthfully, I pray for LSU to win! I’m human, Sue me 😊!
Jesus’s Example of Celebration
In the New Testament, Jesus teaches us how to celebrate when he turns water into wine. Jesus is with His Mom and His disciples at a wedding feast in Cana. In the story in John 2, the wedding party is in full celebration when the bridegroom/host discovers that he has run out of wine. This would have been a catastrophe had Jesus’s mother, moved to compassion, not informed her son of the problem. Jesus is not yet ready to announce to the world who He is, but because He loves His Mother and, I believe, the celebration, He acts. Jesus, being part of the Holy Trinity, understands community in a far better way than any of us. So Jesus directs the servants to fill six large stone jars with water. He then directs them to bring a sample to the master of the feast … kind of like a wedding planner … for him to try. The master marvels and comments that they have saved the “best wine for last.” This story is rich with symbolism and blog fodder, but for today, let’s stay with the celebration theme. Jesus made the wedding feast even more spectacular. With His disciples and Mom, his immediate tribe, Jesus celebrated two new lives becoming one. He knew that He would not always be there, so He wanted to enjoy every moment and celebrate life. Life shouldn’t be rushed – each and every victory should be relished and celebrated!
I love celebrating with my Christian Brothers and Sisters. Every Sunday we celebrate when we come together and feast on the good news of the Gospel, bask in the glory of God, sing praises, and through Holy Communion remember the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Once again, Jesus shows us His love and understanding of celebrations within community with His instructions (Luke 22: 19-20). The way Jesus wants His body and blood remembered is in a gathering – a celebration by the community of believers. Jesus gets me! I also believe that Jesus would have loved football … LSU football, to be exact! I’m teasing, of course, but there is a grain of truth here. I realize that my love of celebrating comes from God. God designed all of us to live in community with the body of Believers. I am confident that in the celebrating of His Word with your community of believers, God will speak to you, heal you, sanctify you, and use you for his kingdom. Doing life in community is important!
We Must Celebrate Marriage!
We must also celebrate our marriages – to give God the glory and thumb our noses at Satan saying, “He cannot destroy what God has joined together.” The marriage covenant that you entered into on your wedding day is very special, not just because of the wedding fineries, but because God himself entered the covenant with you (see Say Yes to the Vows https://wordwashedwife.com/blog/2018/4/11/say-yes-to-the-vows). Every anniversary and milestone needs to be marked with a party or a gathering of your community, family, people, or tribe! We need to celebrate each day by incorporating routines that honor God and cement our relationships with people. We need to have set, as a standard practice, celebrations of those triumphs in marriage that honor couples for their dedication. When a couple goes through a stormy period, there needs to be a celebration on the other end when they emerge triumphant! The birth of every child and the marking of spiritual milestones are spiritual touchdowns that need to be cheered! Recently, Jody and I planned a celebration for a brother's one year anniversary of “sobriety-free from pornography” milestone and for his beautiful supportive wife who has forgiven him time and time again. Just like the one-handed catch just inches inside the back of the end zone this milestone was, as are all others, by God’s grace! (see Marriage is Like a Football Game https://wordwashedwife.com/blog/2017/8/1/marriage-is-like-a-football-game-just-stay-out-of-the-end-zone),
Celebration of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb
To prove His point about celebration, God has already prepared for us a humdinger of a HOMECOMING! Keep reading …
Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:
For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready.
Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.”
(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s Holy people.)
Then the angel said to me,
“Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!”
And he added, “These are the true words of God (Revelations 19: 6-9).”
And we will celebrate with Jesus throughout eternity! These words thrill my soul! I can only imagine exclaiming, “You are worthy, Our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being (Revelations 4:11).” This will be the celebration of all celebrations and the culmination of a life spent growing in the Lord through the community of the Body of Believers! This will even be better than a night in Death Valley with 102,000 screaming LSU fans cheering after beating Bama! That experience is fleeting, while this marriage supper will kick-off eternity in the presence of God! I can only imagine!
Stay washed in the word, friends!