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Sport sermons

There is something about sport that enlivens us (both in the doing and in the watching). Whether it's the playoffs, the Olympics, watching an extreme skier, or working out, we feel more human when we engage in sport. The joy of play seems just right. Competing in a healthy way brings out the best in us. Using our bodies more fully is life giving. The glory of winning feels like something we're made for. Of course we are made for all of this. And all of this, when you unpack it a bit, points to the one who made us this way. Following are a smattering of sports sermons I've preached over the years. 

CrossFit, Suffering, and Glory

In this message, I lean into God’s truth as it’s found in CrossFit - “a broad, general, and inclusive fitness [program] that best prepares trainees for any physical contingency… not only for the unknown but for the unknowable.” (The Crossfit Training Guide).  How could I pass up preaching a sport that prepares us for the unknowable? Here's an article I wrote for RNS on this sermon if you're interested. 

God, Glory and the Toronto Blue Jays

This sermon explores God's truth as it's found in a MLB playoff run. News about this sermon went viral in Canada and, when the Blue Jays discovered it, they asked for permission to use it for their marketing purposes. They also flew my wife and I out to watch a game in the president's box at Rogers Stadium. Plus, there was that bit where I was on the Jumbotron between the first and second inning! 

The Glory of God in Formula One Racing

Where do you risk your life for God? When was the last time you took it to its limits? Have you ever really experienced the 'G' forces you were made to experience? According to writer Maurice Hamilton, "There is not a single square centimeter of a Ferrari F1 car that has escaped the closest examination in pursuit of either mechanical or aerodynamic perfection.” (Inside Ferrari, page 76). According to theologian Abraham Kuyper, "There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!" So what does this sport of God's teach us about who he is?

The World Cup 2010 (heaven on earth?)

Every four years, over 1 Billion people sit down to watch the biggest single sporting event on the face of the earth. Why? What might God be saying through this beautiful game? 

The Parable of UFC

In the bible's book of Hebrews, the writer notes that, “in this all out match against sin, others have suffered far worse than you...” (Hebrews 12:4) In the book of Ephesians, Paul writes, "This is no afternoon athletic contest that we'll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.” (Ephesians 6:12, MSG). So when does your faith cause you to fight that hard? What can UFC teach us about giving our all?  

God's gift of Canadian Olympic Hockey

What might God be saying through the Canadian Men’s Olympic Hockey Team. Why is hockey so huge to Canadians? What does this say about how God made us? 

The Parable of Shane McConkey

"James Shane McConkey was a risk taker, an inventor, and an explorer, who led many out of their comfort zones, pushed the limits into new experiences and previously unknown and new directions, while often sporting new innovative technology." (from Open House, Leslie Anthony). Jesus once said, 'That's what I mean: Risk your life and get more than you ever dreamed of. Play it safe and end up holding the bag." Luke 19:26, MSG 

McConkey once said, "The joy I get from skiing, that's worth dying for". Is there anything in your life that's worth dying for?

NCAA Final Four - God's Full Court Press

NCAA basketball's March Madness is an absolutely huge college sporting phenomenon. Why? And what in the world does this sporting event have to do with our spirituality?

The Parable of Olympic Swimmer Tera Van Beilen

"What’s happening in a heat? Her body, operating at peak performance, enters into the best stroke, at the best frequency, with the least amount of water resistance. After taking the best dive possible and staying underwater for the maximal distance, she enters into the best race; ideally a perfect breaststroke 100m heat. During this ideal heat she is operating on autopilot; with all of the coaching, training, internal drive and desire and muscle memory taking over. In the freedom that all of her preparation has given her, she lets herself go - completely throwing herself into the race, and is fully alive, fully an athlete, fully human, fully the person God has made her to be." (quote from the sermon)

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