Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Changing Teams

My youngest son, Shane, loves football.  It doesn't matter who's playing or what level; if it's football, he's engaged.  He studies the coaches and the players and can tell me something about every team in the league.  Today's blog message is written primarily for my son and for those who like football.  I wanted to teach Shane about some people in the Bible who decided to play for God's team.  The best way to get his attention is to talk about how God put together a Super Bowl team...

The Romans were a team nobody could beat.  They didn't just beat their opponents, they murdered them.  It was like what happens when the Raiders come to town to take on the San Diego Chargers.  Crime goes up.  Families are afraid to go to the stadium.  And players are carted off the field.  Penalty flags litter the field.

The Raiders have a player on their defense who takes the game very seriously.  His name is Saul.  Saul's mission is to win the Super Bowl every year.  Anyone who gets in his way becomes a target.  He blitzes his way to the quarterback and is the all-time sack leader.

One day, Saul is out walking around during the off-season and a bolt of lightning strikes him.  He hears a voice asking, "Saul, why do you persecute me?"

Saul becomes blind and wonders if he will ever be able to play football again.  He relies on strangers to get help.  God tells Saul He wants him on God's football team...the San Diego Chargers, a team Saul hates more than anybody else.  When the Raiders find out Saul is blind they put him on waivers.

The Chargers find out Saul is available but they don't trust him.  At first, they are afraid Saul is sent to spy on them and destroy the team from within.  Saul asks for a new number and a new position.  He is so committed to his new team that he wants to completely forget his past, even his old name.  His new name is Paul.  The Chargers put him on offense.

Every time Paul scores, he points to the sky and gives all the glory to God.  No team can stop him, not even the Raiders.  The Chargers go all the way to Super Bowl and Paul becomes the team captain.  People from all over the world watch Paul and his team on Super Bowl Sunday and they are in awe of his talents.  He had those same gifts when he played for the Raiders, but now, instead of killing his opponents, he uses football to talk about how God asked him to play on His team.  He talks about what those lightning bolts mean to him. Because of Paul, people from all over the world start liking football.   Two thousand years from now, people will still be reading about Paul, the man who changed teams and became a legend in America's finest city.

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