I stopped by a local drugstore once, just to kill some time before an appointment, and I met a very interesting character. There was a very kind and friendly woman who I started talking with that was, by her own admission, one of Star Wars’ biggest fans. She was wearing a black Star Wars t-shirt, matching watch, and was telling me about her vintage lunchbox with Darth Vader and the Death Star on the front. We only talked for a moment but it amazed me how excited she was and how bright the light in her eyes was as she spoke. We parted ways with her excitedly letting me know there were other Star Wars paraphernalia on sale on the next aisle.
I’m not against people being fans of particular teams, movies, etc. However, the thought/question came to my mind as this lady walked away… since when did fandom become all about sheer entertainment, and start leaving out the excitement of sold-out believers? Really, think about it! If I had -in this same conversation- started talking about how crazy I am about my Savior (although I am), how I have a t-shirt with my church’s name on it, and how I can’t believe how awesome one particular story in the Bible is… this woman more than likely would have shut up immediately and thought me a nutcase. Now, don’t get me wrong, if our conversation had lasted any longer than the 60 seconds that it did, I would have at least tried to bring up the topic. The point is, that now-a-days it is viewed as normal and is even encouraged to be an ALL-OUT fan of something that is virtually worthless and yet we are viewed as crazy fools if we are an ALL-IN Christian that is just as excited about a God who saved our very soul from eternal damnation!
Why is it OK to go crazy over a sports game and not for the God who spoke this world into existence; Who not only created us- but loves us, AND daily seeks to bless us and use us for His glory and Our good?
Listen to this passage and see if it doesn’t sound like a crowd of sold-out fans to you…
Praise the LORD!
Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty expanse.
Praise Him for His mighty deeds;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness.
Praise Him with trumpet sound;
Praise Him with harp and lyre.
Praise Him with timbrel and dancing;
Praise Him with stringed instruments and pipe.
Praise Him with loud cymbals;
Praise Him with resounding cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD!
Of course there are times when Christians rally together and have celebrations: complete with praise music and shouts of adoration to God… but once those events are over, we are often seen as weirdos if we continue in that excitement. It isn’t just unbelievers who’ve put that stigma on zealous Christianity though; we’ve really done a lot of it to ourselves. I believe that there is still a small part of most believers that feel a bit of shame or embarrassment in bringing up their excitement about God. Maybe it is because we think that others will view us as ridiculous or perhaps because we don’t think we should really get that excited about something “religious”. Either way, it doesn’t matter; it isn’t right and it shouldn’t be!
How dare we lower God to (more often than not) a level BELOW most sporting events! How dare we think ourselves too important than to share how excited we are about being on the REAL winning team! How DARE we think it fine to go berserk over the latest cinematic craze and shut our mouths in embarrassment over the 1 person this world has ever known deserving of all praise and honor!
Maybe if Christians were a little more excited about their faith to begin with- then it wouldn’t be such a rarity to see one behaving like a true fan. The joy that many people exude over their particular interests is great… but it shouldn’t be looked down on when that joy is from a genuine heart of love and faith in Jesus Christ. Since when did we start being more proud of our latest acquisition of a Hollywood or NFL souvenir than the treasure we have that can never be destroyed or stolen?
Think about this in light of the Holiday season… we join in the merriment, traditions, and feasting, proud and boasting of the presents we managed to snag and the deals we came across. We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and will stay up until the wee hours of the morning on Christmas Eve- just to make sure each present is perfectly placed. Yet, how much time do you spend with the birthday boy? God instituted celebrations and He LOVES our celebrating His Son- but how much enjoyment do we actually experience in spending time with HIS SON? We get caught up in the fandom don’t we; the gifts, decorations, parties, meals, travels, etc. (Not that any of this is wrong- trust me, we do our share over here). However, don’t we occasionally forget about the joy that celebrating Jesus’ birth actually means?
We can be fans of Star Wars or any other fun mode of entertainment, but let’s not forget the main source of our joy and peace that we are called to celebrate and brag about EVERY DAY! This Christmas, remember that our God is a loving God but also a jealous One. He wants your heart first and foremost. After that, the rest is just entertainment. Don’t be a fair-weather fan of the One we’re focusing on this month… a true fan is all-in regardless of what goes on around them. Just something to think about.
Lord Jesus, please forgive us when we think more about the worthless junk going on around us than we do of You. Forgive us for ever putting any kind of entertainment above our adoration and excitement for You. Remind us how great You truly are, how magnificent Your power is, and how truly AWEsome it is to be a disciple of You. We love you and never want to idolize anything in this life… keep us from that temptation Father, and when it surfaces- help us to run from everything that could make us fall. May our joy always be found in You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.