Pandemic. Quarantine. National emergency. Things we never thought we would hear in our community. Yet this has become our reality. And then, add to that protests, riots, and unrest. So now we have problems on top of problems.
We are dealing with issues that have divided us not only politically and philosophically but literally, physically as well. It’s time for us to come together. And what better way to do that than with football? Football, like most team sports, is a beautiful picture of what our world needs.
Without togetherness, teams fail. If the individuals on the team decide to do their own thing, not only will the team fail, but the individual (while possibly enjoying a brief period of recognition) will ultimately fail as well.
Without togetherness, fans are not fulfilled. If you are in the stands alone, you not only have that awkwardness of being singled out, you also won’t be nearly as effective as hundreds, even thousands, of voices cheering for your team.
Without togetherness, the band is just noise. We have the best bands in the state here in Saline County. But let’s face it: if each individual in the band plays a different melody, you don’t have a tune, you have a tragedy. And even if each individual section plays together, the trumpets may be the loudest, but the band as a whole is just making a racket.
Togetherness is essential for teams and communities. I’m proud to be a member of this community. It took me a long time to get here, but I hope I never leave. Our community is growing fast, and one reason is that people want community. We all want and need togetherness. We were created for it. We are lost without it. And we should work to preserve it.
In John 17, we read a prayer that Jesus prayed just hours before he was nailed to a cross and killed for the sins of the world. You would think in that moment, in those hours of agony, knowing what was coming, that He would have prayed for Himself. But He didn’t. He prayed for you and me. He prayed for all people who would ever put their faith in Him. And the thing that He prayed for is astounding. It’s as if He knew that 2020 was going to happen, and we would be divided like we are (And of course, He did know). Jesus prayed that His people would have unity, that we would come together.
“I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the World will believe you sent me.” John 17:21 NLT
Why would Jesus pray that for us? Because He knew that the only way we would get through the problems and pressures, the struggles and stressors of this crazy time in our lives, is if we all came together through Him. He gave an example of togetherness by living His life in unity with His Heavenly Father and by showing the first disciples how to come together in order to change the world.
Sounds pretty crazy, doesn’t it, twelve guys and a Rabbi trying to change the entire world? But it happened, and the churches in our community are proof and witnesses of the success of Jesus’ mission.
And now it’s up to us. Let’s come together. Let’s join forces to protect and preserve the community that exists in Saline County. Be kind and patient (even when people don’t use their turn signal). Love your neighbors. Support local businesses. And whether it’s on the field, in the stadium, or on your street, we can show the rest of the world the power of togetherness.