Because of expected ice storm on Sunday January 9, only 8:30 worship will take place onsite.

February 8, 2024

A Pastoral Word. . . Endzone Dance

Pastor Kevin Freeman

February 8, 2024
Last September, former National Football League quarterback Jim Kelly celebrated a milestone in his life. Kelly is no stranger to milestone accomplishments. While playing for the Buffalo Bills in the early 1990s, Kelly led his team to a record four consecutive Superbowl appearances. Tragically, for Bills fans, each of these games ended in a loss. In 2002, Kelly was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame. During retirement, he faced two serious bouts with cancer and prevailed.

What was Jim Kelly’s milestone in September? He was baptized! Posting a video of his baptism on social media, Kelly shared the following:

“I'm not a man of many words and I don't speak ‘Christianese.’ All I know is that God changed my life…I'm far from perfect but God helped me humble myself and seek him for help. Becoming a Christian is the best decision I've made in my life. I wish I would've come to him sooner. But his timing is perfect.”

This Sunday, Brock Purdy will quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers in Superbowl LVIII. Purdy, barely 24 years old, is already an outspoken Christian living for God’s glory. His rise to NFL glory has been surprising, but he continues to stay grounded in Christ alone. When interviewed by Sports Spectrum, Purdy shared about the vanity of seeking after the things of this world:

“The minute you have fame, and if you’re trying to chase status and money and all this stuff, you’ll lose your life — rather than denying yourself, picking up your cross, keeping your eyes on Jesus and His promises…that’s life, and that’s a life worth living.”

That perspective for a rising star is refreshing! I’m sure that Jim Kelly, whose career ended more than 20 years ago, would heartily agree. Chasing the things of the world – fame, fortune, comfort, or happiness – cannot compare to the glory that comes from living for Christ. “My identity can’t be in football,” Purdy explained. “It can’t be in the things of this world. It’s got to be in Him.”


Where is your identity found?

These NFL players are following the same “playbook” that you and I use. Football players are known for celebrating touchdowns with endzone dances. Those short-term celebrations are nothing compared to what we can celebrate in eternity. This is how Paul described our calling to focus on things of eternal glory rather than the temporary pursuits of life:

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. - Col 3:1-3 NIV

That heavenly perspective reminds us that our endzone dance is not in this life but in the next.

Our hearts can easily drift. Ask yourself, how often do I dwell on “things above”? Brock Purdy and Jim Kelly are examples that, whether early or late, any time is a good time to begin focusing on Christ.

Your partner in ministry,
Kevin Freeman
Image source: Instagram/JimKelly1212
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