Ok, it’s football season. My apologies to you Bear, Viking and Packer fans but I wasn’t raised here and will not be talking about your favorite teams.
I’m from Kansas City so as you’d expect, I’m a die hard Chiefs fan. This year, more than any other in the past 50 years, I’m rooting for what others are predicting. Another Patrick Mahomes banner season and a Chiefs appearance in the Superbowl in 2020. I guess you could say we Chiefs fans all have “2020 vision.”
Unfortunately, prognosticators are usually wrong. This year I hope they’re right.
Whoa! Pump the breaks. The last time the Chiefs won the Superbowl, they upset the “Purple People Eaters” from Minnesota (sorry again Vikings fans) 23-7. Hall of Famer Len Dawson had an efficient day at quarterback and our defense proved to be better than the vaunted Viking defense that day. Though Kansas City was a 13 point underdog, the Chiefs flipped the script and won fairly easily. I was a junior in high school and a rabid Chiefs fan. It was no surprise that the Chiefs won the Superbowl in 1970. The Chiefs were pretty good back then. They represented the old American Football League in the first “Superbowl” just three years earlier (it wasn’t called the Superbowl back then) against the Green Bay Packers. The point is that it was an era when Kansas City won more games than they lost and were always “in the hunt” as a contender. But the last time the Chiefs were in the Superbowl, was a half a century ago. Ouch.
Oh those expectations. How they affect our mood and outlook. If the Chiefs don’t win it all in a few months, there are going to be some long faces in the Midwest. 🙁
So let’s talk about expectations for a moment.
Can we even fathom the mood and outlook of that small band of Jesus followers who were around in the decade following Christ’s resurrection? Probably not because the odds were stacked against them in ways we simply can’t comprehend yet they lived lives intentionally with joy and power making an unprecedented impact on the pagan society that they lived in. Consider that though their numbers were small, their lives were in constant danger and their movement itself was facing extinction, they were living with an edge and a belief that the movement called “The Way” (see Acts 9:2) would change the world forever.
They also believed that Jesus was coming back to set up his Kingdom on Earth in power and glory, and soon!
Nero may have been able to feed them to lions but he could do nothing to quench their passion and faith…AND DESTINY! Such was the mindset of the early Church.
Jesus was coming back any minute and when he did, he was going to topple the pagan Roman Empire and replace it with something far better. This fact was an unstoppable, immovable reality that energized them every moment of every day. Their expectations of victory were off the charts.
They too saw the obstacles but they didn’t focus on them. They believed in the inevitable. They saw their future with such clarity. They had 20/20 vision. And it showed in the way they practiced their faith.
Fast forward to today. Evil seems to prevail in every city everywhere we turn. Even though millions still believe that Jesus was who he claimed to be, we don’t necessarily believe that Jesus’ return is imminent. It’s been just too long and it’s not really part of our DNA to think this way.
Quite often, I wonder if the expectations of the early Church are really what we need the most as Believers. Because one thing is true. Jesus’ return is closer now then at any time in history. (Let that soak in!)
As the Scriptures remind us:
“But make sure that you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God. The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing!” Romans 13:11-12 The Message
Jesus is coming and it will change everything. (Let that soak in!) Isn’t it time that we awake from our slumber and keep our eyes on the skies? Then with his return in full view, may it change the way we care and share with those in our circle of influence. Do I hear an Amen?
Come to think of it, Jesus may return before America hosts another Superbowl. It could happen!
Are you ready?
Something to think about.