Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Basketball and Christmas, a unique combination--Wesley Foundation E-Letter

Dear Friends,


Finals week!  Arghhhh!  I hope you are all surviving, and even thriving, maybe even surprising yourselves.  It’s been a long road but the semester is almost over.  You did it!  Yay!!!!!!


Remember lunch—Our next one is on Tomorrow.  I’m bringing my famous chili.  Yeah!


ROAD TRIP!!!  On Friday we will meet at 5pm and travel to Nashville.  We will stop and eat at the Olive Garden at Rivergate, and then head down to see the lights at Opryland.  We’ll have a great time.  E-mail me back if you want to go.


Now For Sami’s Ramblings About Jesus:


For most people we are in the middle of the Advent or Christmas season.  When I say “Tis the season” at my house, it means basketball.  Yesterday as I was running, I kept thinking about basketball.  Probably because the love of my life (Tim, my sweet husband) is a coach.  I was thinking about how a coach is always there for his (or her) players.  There is always that word of guidance that is available from the sidelines.  Sometimes players heed it.  Sometimes not.  As I think about the life of faith, I am so struck by the similarities.  While Tim cannot play the game for his players, he is always actively engaged with what is happening on the court and through that can offer guidance, wisdom, and the perspective of expertise that years of studying the game have given him.  While God cannot come down and live our lives for us, the Lord is always actively engaged in the life we are living, and always has wisdom, encouragement, and guidance for making the life of faith work better.  I don’t understand why players do not listen to their coach.  I also don’t understand why we would try to live our lives without seeking and listening to the God who loves us and longs to give us His best.


Now I know that these ramblings don’t seem very seasonal.  It would appear that this week I am lacking the “Christmas spirit.”  But if you consider that Advent is not just the time when we prepare to receive the baby Jesus, but also prepare to receive the returning Jesus, then a rambling about listening to the true Life Coach makes lots of sense.  Jesus is coming again, and often I believe it will be sooner than we think.  Just as basketball players are on the court playing to win, we should be living our lives out in such a way that it gets the world ready to see Jesus face to face.  The question that matters most is this:  will the world recognize the Lord of Life when He comes by the way our lives have introduced Him?  As I understand scripture, the Lord is the good shepherd that seeks every lost sheep.  He wants the world to recognize Him; He wants to draw everyone to Himself; His ultimate desire is not to condemn the world but that through Him the world would be saved.  Ephesians 1:9-10 says this:


With all wisdom and insight he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.


What astounds me about this plan for the fullness of time, is that as His children we have a significant role to play in it:  “For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life” (Ephesians 2:10).  We were made to help the good work of Christ to come to pass.  We are a part of His love playing itself out in a world that does not know how to love.  And as this understanding unfolds within us, His love also begins unfolding within the world. 


It is so cool how our Life Coach is so committed to helping us.  What I love about Tim as a coach is that he is always ready to help his players play well and live well, advising them from the sidelines of the court, within the walls of the classroom, wherever they may need help the most.  God is the same way, only more so.   As believers we are so blessed to have the best Coach in the world always on our sideline, wherever we are, giving us the instruction we need.  I love that He is absolutely ready to help us understand what our part is in that wonderful plan that sets the world free.  Again in Ephesians it says this:


I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you. . . .


As someone once said to me, if we are committed to knowing what God’s will for us is, God is absolutely committed to revealing His will to us. And in my heart I know that God’s will for us always reaches beyond us to a world that does not know Him and is hurting because of it.  Hope for the world becomes real as we live into and then live out the hope to which He has called us.  So I guess the questions we must ponder in this Advent season of preparation are these:  1) how full is the time?  And 2) what is that unique hope to which He has called us?  Knowing changes the world.  Or at least gets it ready to be changed when finally it see Him face to face.  In the spirit of the season I’ll end with this:  “Let earth receive her king!”






Sami Wilson

Campus Minister/Director

WKU Wesley Foundation

United Methodist Campus Ministry



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