Not so long ago my favourite football team signed a new striker. He immediately became a favourite with the fans. He was a South American striker and whilst the home fans liked him. He, unfortunately, became something of a figure of fun to the other supporters. This is because after 10 games he still hadn’t scored a goal! My friends took great pleasure in pointing this out.
“It doesn’t matter,” I said, “he is a really hard worker the fans love him!” “Who cares – he hasn’t scored!” they laughed, and the laughing only got louder as after 15 games he still hadn’t broken his duck.
“It doesn’t matter,” I said, “he’s a team player – he’s made a number of good passes and important assists.”
“But he never scores!” they scoffed.
As you can imagine I always had to concede defeat in this particular footballing argument. I believe it was somewhere around the 20 game mark that he finally scored. I have to say it was a great relief – I had grown weary of defending him! For all the hard work that he did for the team – in the end he was a striker and a striker’s key responsibility is to score goals. The striker that isn’t getting any goals is not truly fulfilling his purpose in the team.
Surely for the Christian the first responsibility is to love. It certainly isn’t always easy and I guess there can be many differing evidences of our discipleship but, as Paul says, ‘If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.’
May I wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy new year! And may God help us as we do our small part to fill 2018 with love for God and love for others.
Rev Andy Clark