November 29, 2018

By: Rich Thompson

RENEWING GOD’S HOUSE THROUGH LEARNING AND GROWING:  2 Thessalonians 1:3 We must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly and the love of every one of you for one is increasing.  


Its November, the time of the year where the tree leaves change color and football is full swing.  When you think about football what comes to mind? Maybe you’re a fan and you spend time watching your favorite team with hard hitting action or you could be on the other end of the spectrum and see football as a dangerous sport filled with injuries and concussions.  Far from either of these viewpoints, our local high school football program is built on the concept of “agape” – love for one another demonstrated by placing another’s needs ahead of one’s own needs. The program’s mission is to develop young men who lead significant lives that celebrate effort above ability level, are selfless in their behavior, and will defend the oppressed.  


It is rare in this day and age, to find such a program and one that is supported so widely by the players, their families, and fans. You can see God at work growing each of these young men as they learn to love and work as a team to accomplish a common result.  


This is demonstrated each week on Friday night after the game with the players standing side by side in a circle facing each other with parents, grandparents, and siblings standing behind each player showing them support.  Once the circle is formed the coaches personally thank each player for those contributions for the week and the effort that night by shaking their hands.  Then the head coach says some words about the game and the work put in throughout the week.   He then turns to the players and ask them for personal praises. It is always great to see these young men in their teens recognizing each other for their contributions. Many times, it is not the players that played in the that game that are recognized but the scout team for playing against the varsity in practice, the managers, or the cheer squad.  Finally, once the praises are complete, the coach says I love you guys and don’t forget to hug the person beside you and the people behind you. No matter the score of the game, the team knows they are supported by each other and all of those around them.


Dear God, Please use me to grow our young people through your works.  Help me to show them love, grace, and peace. Amen.

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Salem Lutheran Church affiliated with the E.L.C.A. Salem is a vibrant welcoming Lutheran community that, through the grace of Jesus Christ, is connected within by love and reaching out in hope to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with one another, the community and the world.

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