I played football in high school and loved the crash and bash. Just what a young buck needed to bled off enough energy to sleep at night. But our society has gotten unbalanced about football.
The stadium was full at Happy Valley. Penn State was due to play Michigan on November 13, 2021. Both teams had winning records of 3-0 going into the game. The contingent from Michigan is wearing their traditional blue and maize, having traveled from Ann Arbor.
Think about what is happening for the players. Boys have been groomed and shaped. They have spent an unbalanced amount of time on the practice field, from Pop Warner Pee Wee football → the high school field → the university weight room → the spring practices and the university’s twice-a-day practices starting in August. Now it is time to “play” (Play nothing! We are talking serious money here, huge egos and national pride).
Think about what is happening for the Michigan alumni in the stands. To come to this game, they have had enough financial success to delegate their responsibilities to others so they can leave for the weekend. They also have enough money to fly / drive to Pennsylvania, stay overnight in a motel, pay someone to fix their meals, and possible they have to rent a vehicle to get to the game and buy their tickets. How much is that? Even if they drive, the cost could still be $500 per person.
How many Michigan fans are in the stands? Five-hundred? 700? 1200? Let’s use the lower figure — $500 X 500 fans = $250,000. A minimum of $¼ million. And the true figure may be over a million (or more)
Why? All to see if modern-day gladiators can carry an oblong oval rubber and rawhide ball across a certain line. Hours impossible to tabulate and energy and regional pride has accumulated to bring about a clash that will be seen – thanks to television – across the nation.
Think about what is happening to an Asian woman named Fiyaz. Her husband left her. She has two children to raise with no alimony. She lives in a shack and has little income. She wants to see her parents in a different state, but can’t afford the bribe required to get the needed documentation. She feels powerless; at the mercy of people as desperate as she is (so they are leveraging her need for their own financial advancement). She can’t pay. She does not go.
Think about what is happening in the mind of the God-Man, Jesus Christ. Suppose He showed up at the game. People would fall down on their faces in worship, having been dazzled by His glorious arrival. The scantily clad cheer leaders would stand still. The bands instantly silent. The ego and pride – which moments before were on full display – are now an embarrassment. The misspent wealth that allows such a spectacle looks worthless. Shoddy. Gaudy. Fake.
Aspiring to be able to run faster than others suddenly looks like a foolish life ambition. Whereas moments before the agility and speed of a halfback to get loose falls to its proper level of value (some place well below kindness, gentleness, gratefulness and mercy).
People with jewelry that is valuable enough to feed a multitude begin to take their rings and necklaces off and throw them toward the field, ashamed of the misuse of their assets.
Jesus Christ says nothing. He simply looks and people kneel. People stare at His nail pierced hands, knowing they are responsible.
There is a thundering silence. Whereas moments before it was a raucous crowd, now it is utterly and completely silent. It is a tense silence. A come-to-what-is-of-genuine-value silence. No one is hawking hotdogs or beer. All stand. Attitudes are exposed.
Money that should have been invested in marriages and children got re-routed to football and gambling which now look stupid and wasteful.
What moments before seemed the center of fascination now looks vile compared to the love, purity, wholesomeness and magnificence of Jesus Christ.
The God-Man looks at people and they shrink away, suddenly facing their misspent lives and the foolishness of football.