Go Vikings!

On November 30th, almost our entire family showed up in our driveway, their vehicles decked out with “Go Vikes!” signs.  Earlier I had commented that I had never been to a Vikings game, and they saw it as an opportunity to surprise us with an early Christmas gift.  (Sylvia had to keep this a secret and she did a great job.)  Our family was on the way to Minneapolis for a weekend of fellowship and worship!

Our Metrodome experience made me ponder our response to the church’s call to worship.  Are we fans watching from the sidelines?  Or followers who are ready to jump in?

We arrived in Minneapolis, checked in to our hotel early to get a good night’s rest so we would be ready for the exciting day.  We got up early Sunday morning to meet more family members at the Mall of America, and to ride the lite rail to the Metrodome.  On our way we stopped several times to pick up more fans and followers.  By the time we arrived, the train was packed with several fans standing.

What if Luverne had a True Light Rail that started picking up fans and followers at the Shopko parking lot and proceeded through the entire city, dropping off at the various worship centers because their parking lots were full?

While exiting the lite rail, I observed several hundred people already there at 10:45 AM, with the game time being at noon.  There were ticket scalpers selling to the fans who didn’t phone ahead and purchase their “cheap” tickets, tailgaters dressed in various uniforms and paints, several vendors selling souvenirs, shirts, hats, and extreme helmets with horns.  One vendor auctioned off tickets that allowed fans to be at a place down on the field where the Vikings entered the stadium.

What if the Sandbulte Brothers’ Valet Service would not only park your car, but would sell you a ticket to one of the few seats left?

What if, on a given Sunday, our Trunk or Treat participants sold “Jesus” shirts, hats, (maybe extreme “Crown of Thorns” hats), and souvenirs at Metrodome prices?  Or tickets to line the aisles in the worship center, to welcome the Praise Team, Prayer Team, Mike and Vicki, and other worship participants?

Now, we enter the Metrodome where we are greeted by several food vendors and, oh yes…  Don’t forget the beverages!  We head to our reserved seats.  The Vikings enter with a fireworks display, blowing of the Gjallar horn (LOUD), and “Ragnar” enters riding his Harley.  (Mike and Vicki?)

The game starts.  As the lead goes back and forth it gets more and more exciting.  Fans are coming and going, wearing their extreme uniforms, toting their refreshments and spilling them on fans as we all stand up, and sit down, to let them back to their seats.  The game goes into overtime!  The fans go crazy, jumping up, raising their arms, high fiving and toasting each other with their favorite beverages.  The game is over; Vikings win!!  The celebration continues.  No one wants to leave; they stay to savor the moment.  The celebration takes 5 ½ hours.

What if we as Christians worshiped our Lord and Savior with as much passion as we have at these events?  No one looked at their watch or left the stadium at the end of regulation.  No one got upset when the “radical” fans stood up, raised their arms, shouted, spilled their refreshments, toasted, or made some negative remarks about the Chicago Bears.  No one hesitated to pay the (reasonable) price of the tickets, souvenirs, clothing, food and beverages.  Everyone joined in the celebration.

Will Heaven be more like a Vikings game or our Sunday worship service?

Clap your hands, all you nations; Shout to God with cries of joy.  How awesome is the Lord Most High, the great King over all the earth!  God has ascended amid shouts of joy, the Lord amid the sounding of trumpets.  Psalm 47:1,2,5

Have a great Super Bowl, and God bless!

Roger Niessink


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