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November 23, 2014

I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus. (‭Philippians‬ ‭3‬:‭14‬ NIVUK)

In 1982 West Germany played Austria in the group stage of the World Cup finals. It was the final game in group 2 and both sides had worked out that a one nil win for West Germany would enable both sides to qualify for the next stage.

Sure enough the Germans took the lead after 10 minutes. What followed became known as the Disgrace of Gijon, as two teams played out the remaining 80 minutes, treating the game as an opportunity to pass the ball around endlessly without any serious attempts on goal. When the final whistle blew it was mission accomplished.

The other teams in the group were furious and the authorities made changes to subsequent tournaments to avoid such conspiracies.

There were 22 men on that pitch, a ball, a referee and linesmen, a huge crowd, and a big net at either end. To the casual observer it may have looked like one, but this was no football match. It was all about avoiding any goal mouth activity once the one goal had gone in.

We have thought a lot in our church today about Paul’s exhortation to the Philippians to ‘press on towards the goal”. It is that goal which makes sense of all the activity.

The challenge that comes across to me in all this is, what is my goal, what is your’s, what is our church’s goal?

You see we could have 22 people or 222 people on the ‘pitch’ in our churches, running around, using up a fair bit of energy, doing lots of religious things, singing the songs, preaching and praying, but does any of it mean anything without a goal?

I can preach, I can play in a band, I can serve, but is that where my focus needs to be or does it need to be on a greater ultimate goal?

Is the goal the same for all of us I wonder. In one sense it is. Our focus is not in the music or the furniture or the PowerPoint or the flowers or the prayers, or the bible version, but should be on Jesus. He is the focus, he is the goal.

In another sense perhaps we all have our individual goal that Jesus calls us to, that his Spirit equips us for. It’s about seeing the bigger picture and I worry that sometimes I can’t see the woods for the trees. As long as I’m busy in the church then that’s the main thing isn’t it?

Something tells me that isn’t enough. I need to press on. Get a greater vision of what it means to follow Jesus, and then the means of service make fuller sense.

Time to attack….


From → Christianity

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