Mark 1: 11

Fiona Bridges
Fiona Bridges

Well.I've just been down to my local Tesco and there is this guy there trying to give away a massive pile of England flags. I can't help but laugh because just the other week I am sure they were selling them for a couple of quid each! Now the guy looks like he would just about pay me to take one! Funny how things change!

Only a few weeks ago England flags were hanging out of practically every bedroom window in the country, every second car was flying a flag and I even saw a couple of white vans with red electrical tape crossed over their sides. Then of course there were the T-Shirts! Take a head count and I reckon 2 in every 5 people in the country would have bought one. I'm Australian and I even got stirred up enough to rush out and get my own! Come on England!!!

So why have the tables turned so suddenly? How come the flag that every one was so desperate to fly is now being given away?

Well, I guess pretty obviously it's because England got knocked out of Euro 2004; but you know what, it's got me thinking about something a little less obvious.something about our society, how we value things, how we value each other and how we feel God values us.

You see it seems like when something is going really well; we all want to support it. When David Beckham is shooting those amazing goals he is so famous for, then he is everyone's hero. We get his name printed all over our shirt and plaster his pictures over our walls, but when the going gets tough, when he misses a few shots, it becomes a different matter. We start to talk about him loosing his magic we start asking why he gets paid so much and we start to think about getting another name printed on our shirts. How fickle us fans can be!

Is it possible that we are also sometimes like that when it comes to things other than football? Is it possible that we can be like that about our faith in God, about our friends or about ourselves? Is it possible even, that sometimes we get the idea in our heads that God is like that too. That He is only flying our flag when we are shooting the goals and winning the cup?

Even if we may not think like that outright, often we can live our lives striving to try and do stuff to impress God, to get Him to look our way, to earn the right to get His special anointing, or something like that. We think. if I can just get my mate to come to youth, or if I just raise my hands high enough in worship. then God will be well chuffed with me! That'll get Him doing the Mexican wave!

Well guess what? Lucky for me and lucky for you, it's not like that. You see God loves us, not because of what we do, but because of who we are. because we are His children! God doesn't stop flying our flag when we start to struggle, He doesn't trade in His shirt with your name on it for a different one. Instead He is right there in the game with you, loving you no matter what. Loving you not as you should be, but just as you are.

How do I know this? Well check out Mark 1:11. It's when the Holy Spirit comes down and God's voice from heaven cries out. 'this is my Son, I love Him and I well pleased with Him!'

When I read that I used to think 'well of course you are. He raises people from the dead!', but then I realised, when God said that, Jesus hadn't done anything particularly impressive yet. He was just a carpenter. You see God was pleased with Him because He was His son, not because of anything He had done or was going to do. Well it's the same with us. We are God's sons and daughters too. Of course He wants us to do well, but it's not what makes Him love us, it's not what gets Him up in the lounge room doing Mexican waves. Just the fact that you are His does that!

So if you are anxious about trying to earn God's love. if you've been hoping He would see you out on the field then rush out and buy a shirt with your name. relax! God isn't a talent scout; He is not some fickle fan. God is the most dedicated supporter you will ever have and He is just crazy about you! CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.