“And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ Also he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
Last Saturday, our family went to A-Day, Auburn University’s annual spring football game. It was a beautiful, relaxed day. We wandered in to the stadium, just before the scheduled start, knowing this wasn’t going to be the typical pregame routine. After all, it was basically a scrimmage. We knew that Auburn would at least win this one.
And then the cheerleaders took the field. I smile thinking about the whole scene. Now let me just assure you, I love college football traditions. I love all the excitement, but I do have to smile thinking about the Auburn Mic-Man taking the field on A-Day. For those of you who don’t know, the Mic-Man is the cheerleader who calls out cheers for the crowd. Before each game, the Mic-Man runs around the field, waving a towel, shouting out cheers, trying to whip the crowd into a frenzy.
So what’s the point of all this? I suppose the Mic-Man, and the cheerleaders, are revving up the crowd so the crowd can do its part to stir the team on to victory. I’m actually not trying to be cynical about all of this. I love all of it. But if you think about it, the whole thing is really in reverse order. The cheerleaders are stirring up the crowd before there is anything to actually cheer about.
This week, the whole scene from last Saturday has had me thinking about the Christian life. Don’t we often practically live as if we can manufacture a victorious life by just acting joyful? I know I try, with “try” being the operative word. But oftentimes, I just don’t feel joy. How about you? How is forced joy working for you?
Lately, I’ve been thinking instead about real joy. It’s one of the reasons why I am so thankful for Easter Sunday this year…and one of the reasons why I want/need to meditate on Easter every week. Easter is a clear reminder that Jesus’ victory is not in doubt. It is a victory over sin and death, already secured, as evidenced by his Resurrection. It is not driven by the frenzy of the crowd. Instead, Jesus’ victory is a victory which secured salvation and produces deep and abiding joy.
This Easter, I am praying for joy…deep and abiding joy. I am praying for myself, and I am praying for you. And though I love the Mic-Man, we won’t be employing his services this week. You see, true joy is not manufactured joy. True joy is derived from victory, and our victory is not in doubt. We’ll gather to celebrate the certain victory, won by Jesus, and shared by all God’s children.