We recently went through “March Madness,” the time when basketball fans get excited about the college playoffs.
We have “March Madness” in church, too. According to Matt Tullos, lots of sports terms fit in church. Basketball has an “alley-oop.” In church, an “alley-oop” would be when the singer sings an incredible song that relates to the sermon and the preacher slams it home. But be careful, as church can also have an “alley-oops,” as when the pastor preaches a sermon on adultery and then the soloist sings, “Why Not Tonight?”
Basketball also has a “slam-dunk.” In church, a “slam-dunk” happens when the pastor loses his grip in the baptistry. There is also a foul called a “double-dribble.” In church, this is when the Lord’s Supper juice glasses are cracked.
Football has a “blitz.” In church, a “blitz” is when a 20 people rush the associate pastor five minutes before the service, each with an announcement that must be made. Football also has a “screen pass.” In church, a “screen pass” is when the pastor plans to use a clip from a Disney movie and then chickens out. Then there is the “illegal use of the hands” foul. This happens in more formal churches when charismatic worship is practiced. Then there is the “two-minute warning.” In church, this is when the pastor slows down his sermon with the words, “Finally, brothers and sisters...”
Baseball has the term “stealing home.” In church this is when a member slips out the back door during the invitation. Another baseball term is a “pinch hitter.” In church, this is when a visiting preacher steps up to the pulpit.
My favorite sports term is a “sacrifice.” This is done by a baseball player who allows himself to get out in order to advance a runner or even bring a runner home. And this is what Jesus did for us on the cross, getting “out” in order to advance us to our eternal “home” in Heaven. He had to do this because all of us have a “batting average” that is below .500 (we are sinners who often strike out) and we aren’t good enough to get to Heaven on our own good deeds. Thank God, that even in the bottom of the ninth, with two outs, we can make a comeback and win the victory through faith in Jesus Christ!
That’s the message of the Easter season, when “March Madness” turns into “April Gladness.”
(Copyright 2011 by Bob Rogers. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more “Holy Humor,” visit the Web site of First Baptist Church of Rincon at www.fbcrincon.com.)