What is the intersection between God and sports? The crossing between sports and spirituality lies here. God loves us, and he created us with desire, drive and determination, the main ingredients found in all of sports.
Sports is the ultimate cross-gender, cross-cultural unifier. Sports is the topic that transcends race, creed, color and gender. And Jackie Robinson proved that on and off the playing field. Sports gives many a sense of connection and resonance. Hence, I submit that sports cannot be separated from God, nor can God be separated from sports.
The connection sports affords is to bridge what I call the modern “sacred/secular gap.” Not everyone believes that all we do is somehow inter-related, but I do. “One of the key concepts of the Reformation was coram Deo: all of life is lived ‘before the face of God.’ In other words, there was no separation between the sacred and the secular–you didn’t do things Monday through Saturday that you needed to repent of on Sunday. Instead, you lived all of life as though it were church all the time . . .”
- I was born and raised in Philly, loving the Eagles, Sixers, Phillies, and Flyers. I grew up watching Ron Jaworski, Dr. J., Carlton Pearson and the Broad Street Bullies. Now living in N. VA, I teach and preach the power of life changing stories, upsets, comebacks and turnarounds, God’s Plan for your life, and teamwork. There is a connection between sports and spirituality I call “The Theology of Sports.” We can learn so much from the world of sports. First and foremost, the passion that we give to our teams is the passion that we should first give to God.
- God is passionate. That is why so many of us cheer so loudly and scream so wildly for our teams. In these blogs, I examine the connection between sports and spirituality. So read along and root, root, root for the home team, and realize that God wants us to worship Him more than the players that wear our favorite team colors.
God is passionate. And we are too. I love God and I love sports. I am passionate and exuberant about my love for God. I love to sing hymns and to watch any Philadelphia team beat any Boston or Washington D.C. team in any sport.
Sports give us an avenue to openly express ourselves in front of total strangers in a way that is almost unexplainable. Just look at the photo above. I love the reaction of each player. It is a scene from a girl’s game, probably volleyball. It appears that a winner has just been hit, or the team has just won and beaten their arch rival. We know it is a state championship. Aiken volleyball players and their fans behind them erupt in celebration after Aiken defeated Rock Hill for the State Championship Saturday evening November 6, 2010 at White Knoll High School. What has just happened is ‘huge”; just look at their faces and their reactions. You can almost hear them screaming . . .
No. 14, the young lady at the far right, is leaning forward, arms behind her, hollering her head off, yelling at the top of her lungs.
Next to her are two teammates, No. 8 and No. 4, obviously happy with the sequence of events played out in front of them on the court.
No. 11 jumped up, left her feet and has pumped a fist that has now crossed her body. She is screaming something like, “Dat’s what I’m talkin’ about!”
No. 13’s feet are in the air, above the chair, with one knee almost in her stomach. Her arms are flaying, and she too is shouting for joy.
And No. 9 has her game face on, cheering for the players on the court.
These young ladies display for us how to rejoice. Not passively, but actively. They are on the sideline, and yet they exhibit joy and enthusiasm as if they are in the game. They are celebrating with their teammates who are on the court.
We are wired not only to play passionately, but to live passionately. Each of us, in our own way, is passionate about something. God is passionate. He loves His creation and at the top of his favorites list is man. God loves us; Oh how he loves us. And He celebrates us. And he longs for us to love and celebrate Him passionately as well.
What do you think?