video | 01.12.17
Christmas is a pretty big deal in the professional sporting calendar with traditional local football and rugby derbies, race meetings and, of course, the small matter of a Boxing Day Ashes Test in Melbourne.
With these sporting highlights, plus the three-month build up of commercial buzz from shops and TV adverts, it’s easy to lose track of what we’re actually celebrating and why we travel a long way to be with those we love.
Just over 2,000 years ago, some wise men travelled a long way to Bethlehem because they wanted to witness a very special event. In Matthew 2 v 2 (NIV), he records them saying: “Where is the one who has been born King of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him”.
These men came from the east and were Gentiles, to use the Bible’s language for non Jews. They had no background of faith in God and no reason to travel hundreds of miles but they realised that Jesus, the King of the Jews they were referring to, was someone they needed to worship.
Passages like Romans 12 v 1 remind us that worship is something followers of Jesus are called to do with all our lives. We are to offer our bodies, literally everything we do, as a sacrifice to God. The video above is called Make Way for the King. It comes with a challenge for all of us to fully make way for God’s King, Jesus, in our lives. And it closes with this reminder: “He is the one who gave His life for yours” - referring to His death on the cross.. If you’re a Christian sportsperson reading this, you accepted Jesus as King in your life when you put your trust in Him. But what does it mean for us to make way for the King as we go on in the Christian life?
It means keeping Jesus at the centre of our lives, seeking to live for Him in all that we do and looking to make Him known to those around us who don’t yet believe. This isn’t just at Christmas or Easter, when big events remind us, nor even is it fitting in the Christmas morning service as due diligence amongst the packed day’s timetable of presents and food. It’s having this focus constantly.
We all make way for the things we love. As a runner, I make sure I can fit my training sessions in, whether that’s at City of York Athletic Club, with some of my neighbours or on my own. If you love sport, God has given you that passion. You’re born to play. But He calls us to have Him as our number one passion. We are called to put Him first as a response of gratitude for what He has done for us in dying on the cross.
He is the One who gave His life for ours. He died so that we could be forgiven and free. That’s amazing news. When we take that in, we will want to fully submit to Him out of immense gratitude rather than giving Him just a small space in our lives.
This Christmas, as the wise men did, let’s grasp that Jesus is the King worth making way for. Not just for the holiday, but every day.
You can download this film and use it for free at any of your events using the download link above.
Christians in Sport is a UK based charity that aims to reach the world of sport for Christ. We mainly work with sportspeople in competitive and elite sport.
Registered Charity England and Wales 1086570.
Registered Charity Scotland SCO45299.
Company number: 4146081
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