My wife and I went on a cruise for or 10th anniversary. We had a great time exploring the ship, islands, and local attractions. Out of all the amazing things that we enjoyed the activity that most stands out in my mind is dodge ball. They had a dodge ball tournament one afternoon and I couldn’t say no. As we played one thing became very clear. It had been a long time sense I played dodge ball. I don’t remember much after getting pummeled by ball after ball, but I do remember it took everyone on the team participating together with a common goal to stay in the game. We had to be aware of each other, engaged in every facet of the game, and committed to protecting each other no matter the cost.
I learned something about the Christian journey while playing dodge ball. Being a Christian is like a heated dodge ball game. It requires a great deal of focus and a willingness to play hard. This requires a life that participates in the broken body and shed blood of Christ. Participating in this game demands a life that is aware of Christ’s sacrifice, engages God through Christ’s sacrifice, and is connected to others that value Christ’s sacrifice.
This was illustrated well by Paul in 1 Corinthians. Paul was reminding the people of Corinth that they needed to turn from their idolatry and integrate the nature of Christ into every aspect of their lives. This was their dodge ball game, and it’s still ours today. Paul pointed the people back to the star player and coach, Jesus Christ. His example expressed in his life, death, and resurrection serves as a motivation for every Christian in every way. Let’s look at how Paul used Christ’s life to remind the people what gives them life and binds them together.
14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.
1 Corinthians 10:14-17
A life that is aware of Christ’s sacrifice
If you lost the use of a limb, or your sight, or even your ability to speak you would be aware of it. If the Christian life is a demonstration of losing your self and finding it in Christ we should constantly be aware of Him.
Romans 6:11 (ESV)
11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
A life that engages God through Christ’s sacrifice
If we sacrifice years of our lives becoming educated, our time and talents to achieve our goals, and treasures to acquire things; would we just through the results in the closet? A relationship with God is the result of our yielding to Christ’s sacrifice. A Christian will engage God because that is what the sacrifice is for.
Ephesians 5:2 (ESV)
And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
A life that is connected to others that value Christ’s sacrifice
Good teams are good teams because they function as a team. Unity, common purpose, singular thought, all the unique puzzle pieces fitting together, and having strength in numbers are all parts of what it looks like to be a part of a team. That is not unique to Christians working together as the church, a type of team. What sets the church apart from any other team is what connects them together. Jesus. His ways bring meaning to everything. Living a life that is connected to others that value Christ is more than living, it’s eternal.
1 John 4:12
No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
How can you grow your connections to Christians?
Have a life that is aware of Christ’s sacrifice, engages God through Christ’s sacrifice, and is connected to others that value Christ’s sacrifice.