The big news out the basketball world was that LeBron James (also known as “King James,” not for his love of the 1611 translation of the Bible, but for his prowess on the basketball court) left Cleveland for the Los Angeles Lakers and the 154 million dollars that they are going to give him to play a game for the next four years. The pastor in me can’t help but dream… “if only LeBron tithed.”
The other news in the basketball world was that “Boogie” Cousins (I do not think “Boogie” is related to Central’s Gwen or Gary Cousins, and I don’t know how he got the nickname “Boogie.” Hopefully it’s because he can dance and not because of a nasal drainage problem) signed with the Golden State Warriors. The Golden State Warriors were already a good team (they’ve won three of the last four NBA championships). Picking “Boogie” makes the Warriors have five all-stars. You might say, “It snot fair” (sorry for the continual booger jokes), since they will be the first team since the mid-seventies to have that many all-star players. In other words, the 2019 NBA championship may have already been decided when Boogie blew into the Golden State hanky… ummm arena (sorry these booger puns are a curse).
Who cares? We cheer for the Pistons. The Pistons haven’t sniffed a championship in nearly 15 years and won’t again this year with or without a Boogie on their roster.
I write all of this because God has placed us on his team too. It’s called the church. Paul used a body metaphor to describe the church in 1 Corinthians 12. But if Paul were a basketball fan maybe he would have written 1 Corinthians 12 this way:
Just as a basketball team, though one, has many players, but all its many players form one team, so it is with Christ…. Now if the center should say, “Because I am not a point guard, I do not belong to the team,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the team, And if the shooting guard should say, “Because I am not a power forward, I do not belong to the team,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the team. If the whole team were a point guard, who would guard the taller centers? If the whole team were centers, who would guard the quicker guards. But in fact God has placed the positions on the team, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one player, where would the team be? As it is, there are many players, but one team.
The point guard cannot say to the center, “I don’t need you!” And the starters cannot say to the bench players, “We don’t need you!” On the contrary, those players on the team that seem to be riding the bench are indispensable, and the player that we think are less needed we treat with special honor… But God has put the team together… so that there should be no division on the team, but that its players should have equal concern for each other. If one player suffers, every player suffers with it; if one player is honored, every player rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” (A very loose paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 12:12-26)
LeBron can’t win a championship on his own. He needs teammates. Just because Golden State picked their Boogie, doesn’t mean the other players don’t matter. Likewise, we need each other. If we are going to win the world for Jesus, we must be united and on the same team!