“Get off the bench and get in the game”

February 20, 2012

As of this writing, Jeremy Lin continues to impress. I wrote the following reflection last week for the cover letter of our church’s weekly E-News mailing. Then I borrowed from it for Sunday’s sermon. I’m very resourceful that way. ;-)

Are you buying into “Linsanity”?

I admit that before last week, like most Americans, I had never heard of the guy. Oh… sorry! By “the guy,” I’m referring, of course, to Jeremy Lin, the new starting point guard for the New York Knicks.

While I was in the hospital visiting Mom last Friday night, we watched the Knicks play the Los Angeles Lakers. I had only just learned that Lin, a 23-year-old undrafted player from Harvard—not exactly a basketball factory—had already been cut by two NBA teams and had been riding the bench for the Knicks all season. But he made quite a splash when his coach decided to put him in the game a few days earlier.

But tonight was different. It was the Lakers. It was Kobe Bryant. It was prime-time ESPN. It was a sold-out Madison Square Garden. On this side of the Super Bowl, the lights don’t get any brighter. Now we’ll really see what this kid is made of.

He ended up outscoring Kobe himself with 38 points. As of this writing, his team hasn’t lost since. Last night (Tuesday), he hit a game-winning 3-pointer with one second left.

As someone who couldn’t stand the pressure-cooker of church-league basketball, I have no idea how Lin does it.

Or maybe I do… Lin, you see, is also a Christian. He was part of a very active evangelical Christian organization on Harvard’s campus. When asked by a reporter recently if he can believe how dramatically his basketball fortunes had changed, he said with a smile that he believed in a God who works miracles.

And so do we. In fact, the Bible is filled with people who overcome long odds to do extraordinary things for God’s kingdom. The key to understanding how is that we Christians don’t face the pressures of life by ourselves. We have the very Spirit of Jesus Christ himself inside of us, outside of us, and everywhere we go.

Our mission team in Honduras has been experiencing this power this week. If you don’t believe me, ask one of them about it when they get back.

Even if we don’t perform in a spotlight as bright as Lin’s, we have access to his power source.

So what do you say? Maybe the Lord calling usy to get off the bench and get in the game.

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