by Jon Reeverts
It’s just before Christmas break and the Pit is shoulder to shoulder deep with fans coming out of their seats with each possession. Tick, tick tick the clock winds down - Yuma’s 2 point lead might hold. They foul as the Cougars try to advance the ball and the student section roars at them, “YOU CAN’T DO THAT!” “YOU CAN’T DO THAT!”
Of course today that kind of display of loyalty to your team is politically unacceptable and squashed by State Activities Associations and administrations everywhere, as is the fan section opening up their student newspapers to ignore free throw shooters, or yelling “Warm Up the Bus!” Ahhh… days gone by.
Back to the game, with 2 seconds left, Coach Yahn puts 6’ 5” Luke Prochaska on the south endline to inbound the ball - he throws a perfect strike baseball pass to Canaan Reeverts flashing the high post for a turnaround jumper and swish! OVERTIME! The place explodes!
Who needs the NBA?
There are words and phrases that occasionally become earmarked by current culture as offensive and today those expressions are shouted down, removed from sight and people are terrorized for even thinking them.
Not surprisingly, given all that has happened, today one of those words is “slave.”
I’ve heard people say I’ve been a slave to the bottle or to work or to a lifestyle, but now they have to be careful about choosing to express their experience.
This morning, I think about the book of Romans. The Apostle Paul was not unfamiliar with slavery. It is estimated the 70% of the population of Rome was enslaved. So Paul uses this common concept to help us understand what we have received in Christ.
But, as believers, he tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Paul moves to express our new identity in Christ - once slaves to sin - now slaves to righteousness.
He speaks of himself being a prisoner in Philemon; James (Jesus’s half brother) introduces himself as a bondservant, servant or slave to Christ, depending on the translation, showing that surrender to God is a higher calling than being self-empowered and self-serving.
Today, as you move through each hour and minute, consider your center for living. Are we trying to squeeze life out of our own resources, or are we serving a new master - one who promises to give abundant life - which we find when we trust in His authority, His identity, and His power and might?
Hold on to that word “slave”. It’s not a bad word though maybe misunderstood. It doesn’t have to be personal or public hate speech. When we know about our new identity in Christ - that word actually is freeing.