A monthly Christian sport column by Cobus Kruger, a professional triathlete who is passionate about evangelism, leadership and community development through sport.
This is an exciting week of Rugby. On the one hand we have the Super Rugby Quarter finals this weekend where we will see if our three top teams can go through, and on the other hand we have the Craven Week Rugby currently on the go at St Stithians College in Randburg, where the under 18 provincial teams are playing each other to become the winner of Craven Week.
I spent a bit of time yesterday at the Craven Week Rugby giving some support to some of my fellow believers and ministries that are working with these teams for the sake of God’s Kingdom. They are doing a great Job. Please keep them in your prayers.
But as I sat at this event and while I mingled with some of the players and parents, my eyes caught two teams as they lined up to play their game. The Eastern Province team was standing in a line in front of me. My eyes scrolled through each player, I looked at their form, their focus, their look, their colour, and them my mind went deeper and I tried to picture each player’s background as well. Then it hit me…
Here I’m looking at a team that comes from different backgrounds, that have different cultures, different talents, different languages, different schools, and are from totally different communities but they have been put together as a team to represent their province. This team with all their diversities are bearing with one another, and are putting their bodies on the line for one another for the sake of the team and to play the best rugby they can play to win for their province.
What a beautiful picture this was … I’m getting tears of sadness in my eyes as I think of the next part that I need to write…
It saddens me that sport teams can bear with each other in their diversity for the sake of the team, but we as the Body of Christ don’t do it for the sake of God’s team…
Let me explain…
I’m on the one hand surrounded with a lot of sports people as I train, mentoring and coaching some of them, and on the other hand I’m surrounded with a lot of Pastor’s and different ministries as we try to build relationships and get through diversities and try to partner for one goal in mind, one name in mind, JESUS, and His Kingdom!
But a lot of the times this team that I’m speaking about is not united, is not bearing with each other’s differences and backgrounds. I wonder actually if we truly can call the Body of Christ a team with one goal in mind? Can we call the Body of Christ a united team that is working together for the goal God called us to despite our differences in background, community, skin colour, denomination, ministries, status? Do we operate in unity to answer God’s call to enlarge God’s Kingdom in heaven and on earth?
Are we as the Body of Christ following the instructions as the Apostle Paul wrote it in the scriptures? Let’s read what he wrote:
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you have a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on Love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. (Colossians 3:13-14 NIV)
Come on fellow brother and sister of Christ!! Let’s ask the Lord Jesus Christ to show us where we need to change our mindset, our ways and our actions, where we need to repent and make right with each other, so that we can stand in line like this young Eastern Province rugby team. So we can with our diversity, different backgrounds, different cultures, different communities, different talents, and different languages play in unity the game of our lives as part of the team of all teams, the Body of Christ, for one goal, God’s Kingdom!
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