Cheerleading Before Empty Stands
All the commotion surrounding each year’s Super Bowl game reminds me of a Pee-wee football game I watched one time. Both teams were colorfully dressed and ran their plays with split second precision. The coaches yelled in their instructions from the sidelines. The referees waved their arms, blew their whistles and marched off penalties. About 100 fans cheered on their favorite team. And, oh yes, there were also cheerleaders. They too were colorfully dressed, and were as well disciplined as the football players.
Watching from a distance, I suddenly realized something most strange. Someone had placed the cheerleaders way down in the corner of one of the end zones. They were yards away from the nearest fan, and sometimes the length of the football field away from the action. And the interesting thing in all of this was that this didn’t seem to bother them. It seemed as if what they were doing was unrelated to the football game. They went through their rah-rah-rahs as if they were standing before 50,000 fans.
As I watched those cheerleaders I thought of how they resemble the way we do things, at times, in the local churches. We do “church” with great dedication, skill and precision, but sometimes, I suspect, we are not where the fans or the action are.
CONSIDER how as God’s cheerleaders we are so often doing our things in front of empty stands (pews), and that doesn’t seem to bother a lot of us. As with those cheerleaders, the cheers we do and how we look in doing them seem to be more important that supporting the team effort by getting as many people as possible interested and excited about the game.
Jesus told a story about a king who looked at his empty banquet hall and said to his servants, “Go quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor, and the maimed, and blind and lame. Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled.”
Rev. Wendell Mettey