Tomorrow is the big game. The Bengals square off against the Rams in Super Bowl LVI.
What do you think quarterbacks Joe Burrow and Matthew Stafford will be doing in the morning?
Stafford, quarterback for the Rams, recently told the press, “I think you treat it just like every other game when it gets to that day. You got a job; you got a job to go out there and execute and try and lead your team to the win.”
The players might eat a specific breakfast, practice relaxation techniques, or do some warm up exercises. Everything they do is about the game to come. They must be focused and alert.
What about the spectators? What are they doing on the morning of the Big Game?
Most set up their tailgating station, or return to the one they’ve been using all week. Entertainment and pleasure are the objectives, so most spectators bring food, drinks, games, lawn chairs, and money to the designated tailgating areas. Parades, special chicken wing recipes, and competitive cornhole games reign supreme. No one thinks about the calories they are consuming, the sleep they are losing, or if they would be fit to play in the game later on. They are just preparing to be comfortable and have fun.
There is a stark contrast.
Big Game Prep looks different depending on whether you are a participant or a spectator.
Did you know that the Big Game takes place on a Sunday? (You probably did.)
Every Sunday, not just game day, there are participants and spectators getting ready to go to church.
The participants can’t be identified by their uniforms or their positions. Just because the pastor stands behind the pulpit or the worship leader holds a guitar doesn’t make them participants. Just because you’ve sat in the same pew for fifty years or taught Sunday school for five doesn’t make you a participant either.
Participants can only be identified by their pre-game activities. Being ready to worship the One, True, Creator God takes focus and dedication that means being alert to His Presence everyday- not just Sunday.
If a Christian’s job is to love the Lord his God with all his heart, all his soul, all his mind, and all his strength, then everyday is the Big Game. Worship should be “in spirit and in truth” every moment. Every activity we engage in- what we eat and drink, how we exercise, what we watch and listen to- should be preparing us for worship.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”
Christianity isn’t a spectator sport. We shouldn’t be living our lives, or doing church on Sundays, as spectators.
We are full participants in the Lord’s work, and our worship gatherings should be a culmination of celebrating that fact. When we gather, we are a team (a body) seeking the win in Him.
So what are your warm-ups and recipes for being ready to worship? I’d love to hear them.